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Let's face it, health care in any country (maybe except France, where I
used to live) is complicated. And as a foreigner living in a country
where perhaps you don't understand the language, norms, customs or
process to acquire health insurance, it can get even more complicated.
The idea of this page is to take the mystery and confusion OUT of the
health care process in Colombia for foreigners so that you focus on
quality of life during your time in Colombia.
You have lots of options for health care as a foreign resident in Colombia ranging from:
1) Out of pocket
2) Basic government coverage (EPS)
3) Supplementary plans (PAC)
4) Private policies (Poliza)
It's true that basic health coverage (EPS) starts for a little as $100,000 COP/month and will cover you with some of the best doctors in Colombia in the event of a major illness. But wait times can be severely extended and access to certain doctors and medicines can be restricted.
It's also true that many foreigners will opt out of health insurance coverage in Colombia and instead pay "out of pocket" for whatever they need. This is an option providing you never get really sick and have the financial resources to pay for your own care.
Most foreigners however (under 60 years of age) will select a private insurance policy that provides rapid access to a wide range of doctors and specialists, hospital access, some with global travel care, plans with and without co-pays, and branded medications starting at about $300,000 COP/month.
In short, the health care system in Colombia is comprehensive, high quality and quick to deliver care, but only if you pay for it. I always like to set that expectation up front because while very affordable, you are not going to get "something for nothing" in Colombia, nor most places in the world when it comes to quality health care.
And getting health care coverage is one thing, what about when you actually need it? It's hard to remember what the limitations of your plan might be, where to go, who to call, especially in an emergency. These are all things that I can help you out with.
Take a glance through the presentation we've created and feel free to contact me with any questions. I can help you navigate every step of acquiring any health care option in Colombia and do all of the "hand holding" and orientation along with our partners at Sura, so that you get the most out of your health care coverage while residing in Colombia.
If you get stuck trying to figure things out on your own, or simply want someone to take care of everything for you, before and after you have your plan in place, please send me an email and I'll explain our services in this area.
Thanks for reading!
Immigration and Health Care Specialist
Casacol Legal Department