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The health expenses that Mexicans pay out of their pockets increased 40% from 2018 to 2020, that is, they have had to spend more money from their income to pay for medical consultations, purchase of medicines and hospital care, according to the Center of Economic and Budget Research (CIEP).

The average out-of-pocket expense that people make for basic health issues is around 3,300 pesos, according to CIEP data with information from the National Institute of Statistics (Inegi).

In Mexico there are financial tools that help the population to defray health issues and that these do not represent economic suffocation when facing a medical emergency.

Medical expenses insurance

There are two types of medical expense insurance, major and minor. Minors are those who focus on health prevention. For example, general medical consultations, laboratory studies and ambulance transfers, among others. These types of products can cost from 5,000 pesos a year, depending on the company where you hire.

Major medical insurance offers coverage for accidents or serious illnesses such as cancer, Covid-19 or heart disease and does not cover minor conditions such as the flu. They cover hospitalizations, medical fees, medications, therapies, surgeries, among other things, depending on the additional coverage.

The cost of these insurances is higher and depends on the age and sex of who hires it.

For example, for a 35-year-old woman with no children who lives in Mexico City, insurance for major medical expenses would cost between 15,173 pesos and 22,700, depending on the insurer she chooses.

Indemnity insurance for hospitalization

This product can cost from 1,000 pesos a year for an insured sum of up to 50,000; 100,000 pesos or more depending on the company. They contemplate coverage of daily income for hospitalization and funeral expenses.

With it, the insurer will pay the sum insured in the event that the contracting party of the product is hospitalized for more than two days. One of the advantages of this product is that it has no deductible or coinsurance.

A patient’s access to medical care is increasingly difficult in the public sector, and in the private sector the costs are almost inaccessible, reported Francisco Rodríguez, Chief Growth Officer of Albo, a financial services company.

For the care of Covid-19 cases, he stressed that the sole application of a test to detect the virus makes a difference. It is free in a government institution, but it costs around 950 pesos in Digna Health Laboratories, up to 2,750 pesos in private hospitals and more than 3,000 in other laboratories.

“When someone in the family gets sick is when we really realize the high cost of health, especially when we have not set aside money for contingencies. We are in a period of high contagion, so it is suggested to be financially prepared for any emergency,” he said.

Health insurance for the IMSS family

According to the Mexican Institute of Social Security, it is a type of insurance to which families can voluntarily join, by paying annual installments in advance.

For example, the incorporation of a person from 0 to 19 years old costs 6,200 pesos per year; from 20 to 29 years old, 7,650 pesos; from 30 to 39, 8,250 pesos and from 40 years to 80 and over the cost ranges from 9,550 to 14,850 pesos.

With this voluntary incorporation into the IMSS, people have the right to medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, hospital and maternity care. As in private insurance, there are also exclusions for pre-existing conditions and it contemplates waiting periods for certain conditions.

In addition to some exclusions in cosmetic surgery, lenses, hearing aids, treatment of chronic conditions that require permanent therapeutic control, according to IMSS data.

For people who do not wish to register voluntarily with the IMSS, and who lack private health services, they can receive medical care from the Institute, as long as they cover the costs that it generates.

This year it was established that the consultation with a family doctor is 969 pesos, emergency care has a cost of 844 pesos, the day of hospitalization can cost up to 10,761 pesos.

Emergency health fund

Regardless of whether you already have a private health service or in social security institutions, it is important to have a fund for medical emergencies.

Let us remember that in cases of major medical expenses, the deductible and coinsurance payment must be disbursed, there the fund would help to cover those expenses.

How to do it? Registering a percentage of savings for this purpose within the fortnightly income-expense plan and doing it in this way until conforming the amount that gives security that the expenses derived from a medical emergency can be covered.

“It is advisable to define a plan that allows you to take control of financial tranquility,” said Francisco Rodríguez, Albo’s representative.

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