How to get health insurance in Costa Rica?
More and more foreigners move to Costa Rica every year. A number of health insurance plans are available for them. Costa Rica is constantly modernizing its private and public system at no additional cost. In this country, both locals and foreigners can get optimal medical services at very low prices.
Foreigners in Costa Rica are generally satisfied with the quality of the healthcare system and health insurance. Moreover, the United Nations considers it one of the top 20 government systems in the world and the best in Latin America.
Costa Rica does have a universal health care system. Foreigners can receive assistance through the public or private system. In this case, both are considered available.
Health care facts in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica is constantly improving its healthcare system, so people in this country can expect new healthcare facilities to appear regularly.
- The medical training of the staff is also constantly updated.
- Life expectancy in Costa Rica is high (almost 80 years).
- The most serious diseases in Costa Rica are Chagas disease, dengue fever, hepatitis A and B, leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, malaria, rabies and typhoid fever.
- Usually, both public and private health insurance is used (private insurance supplements costs not covered by the state).
- Many medicines that usually require a prescription in other countries are not available here. This includes items such as cholesterol medications, contraceptives, etc.
Free Public Healthcare in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has free public health care. However, this is only available to the citizens of Costa Rica who are most in financial need. This means that working residents and expats will have to pay to use the public health care system.
Foreigners as well as Costa Rican citizens must pay at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). This is usually referred to simply as Caja. If you work in Costa Rica, the amount you pay will depend on your salary. If you are a retiree or a savings renter, the amount you pay will depend on the financial amount you entered when you applied for your visa.
Sign-up for the Costa Rican public health
When you are in Costa Rica, you will sign up for the Costa Rica public health program. Once you have applied for and obtained a residence permit, you will transfer this permit to the nearest Caja office. In addition, you will also need to bring to the permit:
- Your passport;
- photocopies of your passport page and the page containing your entry into Costa Rica (notarized);
- confirmation of a residence permit (plus a copy).
You will also need to provide a registration request form that your employer must complete if you work in Costa Rica.
After you send everything, you will receive a receipt. You need to keep this receipt and present it when you receive your residence card (as Caja proof of payment is required to obtain authorization).