Healthcare costs can present such a challenge for many that it becomes the single most important factor in choosing a retirement destination, so imagine being able to access high-quality healthcare at a fraction of the cost in your home country… and in a place that has a beautiful climate, a rich culture, and an overall lower cost of living.
This is exactly what Costa Rica as a retirement destination in healthcare is all about. With a national health system that foreign residents can easily access. In fact, health care costs can be so low that you can pay out of pocket for many procedures and medications without going to the bank.
Best health services in Latin America by far
By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best health services in Latin America. There are two systems that legal residents can access: the government-run universal health system, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, known as Caja, and the private system. Both health systems are constantly being updated: new clinics, new equipment, and improvements in staff training.
Despite the advances, the costs are low compared to the US. “One of the reasons Costa Rica is so attractive to retirees, and expats in general, is because of the great low-cost health care options,” is the common phrase among expats from North America and Europe.
The country has 3 JCI-certified medical centers in the nation’s capital, San José. This is the highest global designation awarded in the healthcare industry. And once you become a legal resident and pay into the universal social security system (typically 7-11% of your declared income) you qualify for public health care through the Social Security Fund.
There are also private health insurance policies available and many expats opt for a combination of both public and private. Those who prefer to simply pay out of pocket for the procedures can save up to 30-90% compared to prices in the United States.