Differences Between Private and Public Care
In Costa Rica, both public and private hospitals are performing well. For example, many Costa Rican doctors work at CAJA in the morning and have their own private clinic offices during the day and evening.
Many immigrants to Costa Rica choose a mix of public and private doctors. Many visit their local CAJA physician regularly. However, if diagnostic testing in a public system requires too long a wait, they will use private institutions. Doctors in private institutions are happy to write prescriptions at CAJA pharmacies so that patients can get their medicines free of charge.
Most immigrants in Costa Rica have private global health insurance. But some still prefer to take out a private insurance monopoly from the Costa Rican government. It is known as the Instituto de Seguro Nacional (INS). INS policies are an option for legal residents, and the INS system is linked to doctors, hospitals, laboratories and pharmacies in the private sector.
In order to bridge the gap between private and public health care, the country has plans for medical discounts. A health discount plan is an inexpensive tool. This allows patients without an INS or other private insurance to have access to some of the private care options available. In exchange for a monthly fee, patients are given a certain number of discounted visits, blood tests and x-rays. This is a good option for economical patients who have many tests in the future.