I am living full time in Mexico in a small town approximately 150 miles south of the border with the US. I’m fully insured in the US with Medicare and a very good supplemental policy. I have used the local Doctor here in Mexico and found that the service was very good and I don’t hesitate to consult with him if needed. The expense of this is very reasonable compared to the US. However I’m a senior citizen and sooner or later I’m going to need some extensive medical assistance. I’d read about the Mexican Health Program where one can enroll for a reasonable annual fee can receive medical care through the governments system. So I decided to enroll. My first step was to talk with those who have done it and get their advice this led me to actually go to the local office of IMSS and ask for the current list of documents required to enroll. When I went to the office I was told to talk to a particular person who happened to speak beautiful english. She gave me a list of the required documents and told me to meet her in Mexicali the capital of our state Baja Mexico on monday morning and that I needed to bring a friend who also wanted to enroll.
I have a friend who lives across the street and she was eager to get enrolled in IMSS also. We both had been told we needed an interrupter to go with us, but the lady at the local office was positive we didn’t need one if we went to see her at this office in Mexicali on monday. So the two of us gathered our documents and funds and went to find the office in Mexicali using the map provided by the IMSS office in San Felipe where we live.
Getting to Mexicali is easy there was only a little road construction. Once in the city we followed the map until we got to the area where we thought IMSS was located. It appeared that the entrance was off the main thoroughfare and once of that road we asked a passerby for directions and we were given the directions for a clinic not the main office so we had to backtrack to the main street and ask again. Once again we came across another person who spoke english and gave excellent directions and we finally arrived at IMSS.
Once inside we followed the foot prints to the clerk who told us asked us in Spanish was this our first time and we told her yes and she gave us two tickets with numbers on them like at DMV in the states. I kept asking for our lady in San Felipe but didn’t get through doing that but a guard, who spoke english, told us to go sit and wait for our number to be called so we did what he said. We sat down and wait about ten minutes and our numbers came up and told us to go to window 19. Again asked for our lady from San Felipe and no response, I was a little concerned that things would go badly at that point. However things were moving along. The lady processing the papers thought I spoke Spanish and I disavowed any such skill in Spanish and she and the clerk didn’t believe me, little did they know how bad my Spanish is. Documents were read and a file was started and then in Spanish we were told to go outside and have copies made of all the documents and bring them back. Upon return we gave the clerk our documents and had to wait some more while they were processed and then we were sent to another window and this clerk told us in English go take some documents to the local HSBC bank and pay our fees and return to him. So off we went to the bank. Upon returning to IMSS our clerk gave us some documents and told us to take them back to San Felipe IMSS, we were done. So we did what we always do in the big city we went shopping and lunch 🙂
I’ll let you know how things go with IMSS in San Felipe. Just got back from town had breakfast at Chumpo’s restaurant and went to the IMSS office. IMSS told me to come back Nov 6 as it takes that long to update their computers with the information from Mexicali. At that time bring copies of my passport, resident visa, proof of address, and what ever else I gave to the IMSS office in Mexicali. So I will update this after that visit or make a new post.