“Bye bye” to IMSS insurance for us

End of September 2015 - At private slip in Nuevo Vallarta in Banderas Bay, Mexico

It has been our experience that the IMSS insurance for Mexican workers is not for us. I originally thought that it would be the solution for our health care. We have cruiser friends up in the Sea of Cortez that raved about it. They possibly were not looking for the level of care that I was. He also had VA benefits in the US and was right across the border being up in the Sea.

 Here on the mainland it is quite different. I was thinking if I had, say, an appendix rupture or a hip needing replacement, then IMSS would be the way. Since needing a hip replacement for real it is not so. It started out that I had two pinched nerves - one in my groin and one in my hip. That I did get worked out through IMSS however it took quite a while. The hip, it seems, is quite different as it requires a not-so-simple operation. Both the orthopedic surgeon and my primary care doctor at IMSS said to get the operation anywhere but IMSS if we could! That the rate of infection at the IMSS hospitals was 50% for the hip replacement! In the US it is 1%. At the private hospitals in Mexico it is very small also. But private hospitals cost $$. Also IMSS uses good hip implants but not the better implants. Now this is in Puerto Vallarta (PV) and each state in Mexico is different but I do not think that much different. The IMSS system here in PV was good 15 years ago, a local doctor friend of ours said. But PV has grown tremendously since then and IMSS has not grown at all. It is way over-crowded and well, not for us after all. It has worked for our prescriptions and we have not lost anything financially on my approximately $350.00 USD a year cost. I am 69 years old now and it is less for Debbie because she is a younger.

 I applied for my VA health benefits in the US and was approved at level Group 5 which means no copay for Inpatient or Outpatient care and $8.00 per month copay per prescription. I can get the hip replaced there and we are working out the logistics. That is, where to stay and how to get around for a 3-4-5 month period. We are also considering the beginning of next summer after cruising the Mexican Riviera this winter, on my bad hip once again.


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