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Rules tightened for foreigners applying for Seguro Popular

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Seguro Popular, Mexico’s public health insurance plan, is still offered to foreign residents but under some new conditions.

If a foreigner holds a Permanente status, they automatically qualify for Seguro Popular for a three-year time period, even with a pre-existing condition. But that’s only if they cannot afford a different health plan or cannot apply for coverage with the Mexican Social Security Institute, or IMSS, due to a pre-existing condition, said Vikki Hillman of Merida Expat Services.

But if a foreigner holds a Temporal card, Seguro Popular will only issue three months of coverage. Within that three months, the foreigner must obtain a Yucatán driver’s license and present it to Seguro Popular.

If that requirement is not met within that three months, the foreign applicant has to wait for Permanente status to qualify.

“No other options. We have asked, what if someone does not drive and were told the rules are the rules,” said Hillman.

Seguro Popular is a basic health insurance plan that pays for services at the general government hospitals. It is a very low-cost-usage health insurance program sponsored by the federal government. It’s meant for anyone, including foreigners, who do not have health insurance such as IMSS or other providers.

Non-citizens are accepted. Unlike IMSS and other insurance plans, Seguro Popular does not exclude pre-existing conditions and no physical is required. The policies are issued for a three-year period and can be renewed.

A sliding fee is based on your financial status.

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