Written by Lisle Head

Health care in Costa Rica is very good. In fact, the medical system here is rated higher than in the United States. So you needn’t worry about sub-standard care if you are unlucky enough to become sick or injured.

While staying or living in Jaco, you have a variety of options when it comes to your health. Right near the center of town there is an excellent private clinic, on the main strip there is a Costa Rica Red Cross facility and on the south side of town there is the 24 hour, government run Santa Catalina Clinic to set your mind at ease. There are full hospitals only 45 minutes to the north in Puntarenas and 45 minutes to the south in Quepos. The renowned CIMA hospital is an hour inland in Escazu.

Various specialists visit regularly, so, a person can have just about any needed tests or preventative care done right here in Jaco. The clinic options in Jaco can handle just about everything except for severe trauma. In the instance of critical injury, people are stabilized here in Jaco and then transported quickly by ambulance to Puntarenas. Life Flight is usually available as well, to take critical persons to CIMA Hospital near San Jose in only 30 minutes.

Insurance coverage in Costa Rica can be a huge savings as in comparison to the United States, especially if you are advancing a little bit in years. INS basic private insurance plans cover 70% of prescriptions, visits, hospitalization and treatments, and cover 100% of surgeon and anesthetics fees. Dental, cosmetic surgery and optical are not covered unless treatment is needed as a result of an accident. Men under 59 years of age generally pay between $550 and $1000 per year for this type of plan and women ages 19 – 59 pay around $800 to $1300 per year.

People who obtain their residency will pay into the national social security and receive “CAJA” medical insurance. “CAJA” or CCSS is Costa Rica’s socialized health care system. The treatment is good and you can just walk into any government clinic or hospital showing your CAJA slip and receive treatment. However, you may have to wait in long lines and be given generic medicines. The coverage is very reasonable, only about $35 – $60 per family per month dependent upon the primary family member’s age. We do recommend those who obtain their Costa Rican residency to purchase private insurance in addition to CCSS.

Contact us today to find out if living in Costa Rica will benefit you.