Some people research for months or years before they make a decision. Like making a decision for Christ, we are wise to decide in advance of the certainty of emergencies. Others decide quickly by learning from the mistakes of others. As a permanent expatriate living in Mexico I have a wealth of valuable info to share about medical treatments and procedures in Jalisco. This post is about my personal experiences. Many have been great, some have been adequate, and a few have been below disappointing. If you were born in Mexico, or if you are a visitor, both need to have an emergency plan. What is the right choice for YOU? All I know is that it is wise to have a PLAN in place for emergencies. A heart attack or car accident may leave you with the only EXPENSIVE option. Doctors take vacations, friends are traveling, and you have an emergency — who will you call? My suggestion for all people who live around Chapala Lake, is that they JOIN Ribera Medical Center, a NEW hospital that opened in 2021. WHY? They have the latest MRI testing equipment and an onsite LAB. If you need an emergency operation, having the onsite LAB gets the doctor the info he needs to make a decision. As a MEMBER of RMC hospital, you get 2 FREE ambulance trips annually and great discounts on annual exams. After 3 hospital stays and 4 cardiologists, and lots of pesos out of pocket, I highly recommended RMC on the libriemento. With eye contact and ears that understand English and the anxiety that always accompanies and emergency, traumatized patients get great care. If you have had COVID, Dr Carlos has had it 3 times and they know exactly what to do. Dr Sergio Morret Rivera, my Cardiologist has also had COVID and he got me off 3 heart meds. Also as a member of Lakeside Medical, my office visits to Dr. Mario is 100 pesos. NOT having an emergency plan in place cost me over $50,000 USD. There is value in evaluating your options before you seek a medical diagnosis or treatment in Mexico.
1) Medicare on its own will cover zero without a supplement. If you have an emergency hospital visit, you will be required to pay UPFRONT in pesos for the entire anticipated stay.
2) Enroll in Medicare at your selected retirement age and do not drop it, otherwise you will pay a penalty for every year you skipped away to get back into the Medicare system.
3) There are insurance agents that lives in the USA who know nothing about International health insurance. Seminars are conducted at Lakeside Medical Group to explain options. Lakeside Medical Group files all insurance forms which is a HUGE benefit.
4) United Healthcare Advantage – is the supplement plan that we chose. The cost is zero to enroll, and zero per month. We just pay our Medicare premium. Lakeside Medical did all the paperwork, and filed the claim with United Healthcare. Our co-pay $150 for 3 days at RMC hospital, which is in the Lakeside Medical Network.
5) Join Lakeside Medical in San Antonio, Tlayacapan for any EMERGENCY medical care. It is a FREE enrollment, and zero monthly fee. They verify your insurance then you get a Lakeside membership card and are in the system. Zero deductible, Zero Co-Insurance, with minimum co-pay fees for office visits at their CLINIC in the same brand new building. www.lakemedicalgroup.com You can call and make inquiries from USA 1-888-449-7799 or from Mexico 01-800-681-9396. They accept over 350 American Health Care Insurance Companies. United Healthcare, Blue Cross, Cigna, Tricare, Medicare Advantage Plans. MOST IMPORTANT! For any emergency you MUST call Lakeside Medical first as they prearrange what NETWORK hospital to take you to depending on your emergency.
Lakeside Medical Hospitals in the Network: 1) Riberas Medical Center RMC address is Libramiento Carretera 153 Ajijic, Jalisco 45922. 24-7 Emergency Services, Board Certified Specialists, Emergency Room, Advanced ICU, Intermediate ICU, Urgent Care, surgical rooms, labs and diagnostics, pharmacy, primary care, ambulance services,CT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound, Hemodynamic Unit. 2) Hospital Santa Maria Chapalita address Ave Niño Obrero 1666 Colonia Chapalita Zapopan, Jalisco 45040 Offers 24-7 Emergency Services, Board Certified Specialists, Emergency Room, Advanced ICU, Intermediate ICU, Urgent Care, surgical rooms, labs and diagnostics, pharmacy, primary care, ambulance services,CT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound, Hemodynamic Unit. 3) Hospital Justo Sierra address Calle Justo Sierra 2420 Guadalajara, Jalisco 44130. Offers 24-7 Emergency Services, Board Certified Specialists, Emergency Room, Urgent Care, surgical rooms, labs and diagnostics, pharmacy, primary care, ambulance services, CT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound. 4) Hospital Pablo Neruda address Ave Pablo Neruda 4150, Universitaria Guadalajara, Jalisco 45110. Offers 24-7 Emergency Services, Board Certified Specialists, Emergency Room, Urgent Care, surgical rooms, labs and diagnostics, pharmacy, primary care, ambulance services, CT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound
The benefit of having a LAKESIDE MED membership is found in my experience listed below. Your personal Lakeside membership card is to be carried with you and the ER numbers are on the back. If you get in a car accident in Manzanillo, or in Guad, call Lakeside Medical FIRST. They have a network of hospitals throughout Mexico that will admit you with minimum paperwork – you are in the system.
By joining RMC Ribera Medical Ctr: all non-emergency blood tests, CT scans, MRI, X rays are discounted. Conveniently located on the Libramiento, the professional staff can access my information ONLINE and there was ZERO paperwork for each of my emergencies. Ambulance ride, 3 night stay in a fabulous room and I paid out of pocket $150.00 USD. My 4 HOSPITAL COMPARISON LISTED BELOW:
- September 2020 Mike and Barb were ambulanced to Real San Jose Hospital in Guadalajara to be treated for a positive nose swab test of COVID at San Antonio Hospital in Chapala. Without full payment of over 500,000 pesos, the hospital would not admit us. LESSON: Enroll at Lakeside Medical and call them FIRST, not the Red Cross ambulance.
- June 2021 not feeling right, frequent headaches, hair falling out, feeling anxiety, depression, zero energy. Got full blood panel 5,000 pesos, got meds for Adrenals, thyroid.
- August 2021 Mike drove Barb to San Antonio Hospital in Chapala as her BP was 210/110. The attending Cardiologist was Dr Garcia. The doc administered NITRO, BP came down, I had an EKG, ultrasound of my heart and carotid artery. The cost out of pocket, no insurance accepted was 2,500 pesos. “Go home, relax you are not a candidate for heart attack”. Emailed blood panel and EKG to Dr Briseno, a Cardiologist at San Antonio Hospital. He was unable to see me until late October 2021.
- September 2021 Got second opinion at Chapala Med by Lake Taco. Asked Dr Santiago Hernandez to see if there were any contra indications with my basket of meds as I still had frequent spikes of BP. Dr Santiago took me off a steroid for my thyroid, that week BP went down as expected. Follow up 7 days later was on Sept 24, 2021, another full blood panel at RMC hospital for suspected heart attack. WIthin an hour my BP shot sky high. Drove to Chapala MED and the attending nurse sprayed NITRO under tongue. Chapala Med called ambulance and I arrived at San Javier Hospital in Guad at 8 PM. I was released with a prescription of 4 heart medications and a payment of $14,000 USD for a two day stay. Because Chapala Med did not call Lakeside Medical, I was admitted into a hospital NOT covered by my insurance. A week later Lakeside Med reviewed the charges and informed me that the charges were inflated, I am to expect maybe a 50% reimbursement for hospital bill. Had to UBER to personally pick up ER notes to file claim. (Claim must be filed within a year).
- October 19, 2021 less than 30 days after 2 days in San Javier, I slept with oxygen (6,000 pesos per month) because I still had major BP spikes at 2 AM. Anxiety was high, had to avoid crowds. My Heart Rate was 135 with BP 190/95 and escalating. Mike called Lakeside Medical and their ambulance picked me up, took me to RMC Ribera Medical Ctr. I stayed 3 nights, filed no papers upon entry or exit and my total cost was $150.00 USD.
- The Cardiologist at RMC Dr Sergio Morett confirmed I do NOT have hypertension, I have anxiety from COVID. Dr Morett shared that he had COVID in December 2020 and afterwards suffered from anxiety and memory loss. He calmly explained that it is common and that he personally got counseling and takes 1 mg of Alprazolam daily. Dr Morett, Cardiologist phone 331-656-5307 for appointment. Dr Morett is now a member of Lakeside Medical. Schedule through his office or Lakeside Medical. Dr Morett have a casa at Lakeside and are ready and available.
Without even realizing we can sometimes find ourselves living a life in which we are fulfilled by what we enjoy doing. WARNING: High blood increases with anxiety, it is not always hypertension. I felt tired, and I was not able to go out for more than 3 hours a day for a year. We investigated and found that by joining RMC Ribera Medical Center for a one-time-only fee, we get a 30% discount on blood, urine, hormone tests, 2 free ambulance rides per year, and a 30% discount on Xrays, Ultrasound, MRI, CT scans for life. We will only use this facility for non-emergency annual doctor checkups.
PREVENTION is key to adding great VALUE to your life by reducing stress. Know your options and make good choices. TAKE VITAMIN B1 + C + D + ZINC + A + Quercetin + Acetylcysteine.
LAKESIDE MEDICAL Join and get your insurance pre-approved 376-766-0395
JOIN RMC Riberas Medical Center and get discounts and FREE ambulance 376=765-8200
EMERGENCY Oxygen can be delivered to your home CALL Aurora Empresa Oxigeno 333-104-5218
DRUGS: IF YOU LIVE ALONE and NEED prescription filled and delivered, it will COST extra, but it is worth it when you cannot breathe and your friends are not available. CALL IVAN who speaks ENGLISH and delivers all the way to Mazamitla. 331-712-2093 or 376-765-5827
WHEN TRAVELING: I keep this blog post HANDY in case I get in an accident in PV, or Manzanillo. Just saying stash the info so you have QUICK ACCESS.
According to recent SCIENTIFIC studies: 82.2% of COVID-19 patients tested were found to be deficient in vitamin D. One study found your risk of developing a severe case of, and dying from, COVID-19 decreases once your vitamin D level gets above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) A higher risk of respiratory infections including COVID-19 is found to exist in patients with Vitamin D deficiency. Increasing Vitamin D intake reduces the survival and replication of viruses, reducing inflammatory cytokine production and maintaining endothelial integrity.
5 thoughts on “Health Options in Mexico”
Great information Barb! I have been looking for Dr Cherry this last month, and no wonder you’ve been on my mind! So glad you are well, praise God for leading you and thank God you are listening and obeying.
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Great to hear from you Vicky, I pray your health is steady and improving. I edited this post to include what hospitals are included in the Lakeside Medical Membership. Cheerful Cherry lives at the El Dorado, across the street from the hospital and she said “just call me in any emergency and I will meet you at RMC.” Having a local doctor who does not have to drive in from Guad is a blessing. She is not only a jewel, but she practiced in Texas, her home state for 6 years after graduating from Med school in Guad.
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One thing about medicare. If you have other insurance coverage while you are in Mexico and only retain Medicare A – it only covers hospitals in the US. When you sign up for A,B,C a person is insured in Mexico with Medicare. Having a supplement like United Healthcare does cover ONLY emergencies. Good to know about discounts at RMC for non emergencies. Not having to travel to Guad for CT scan or MRI is a plus. Good to know all our options.
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RMC has it’s own clinic so when you may need a surgery, the blood test results are available within minutes. I have used CHOPO, the clinic next to Marissa’s in Ajijic, the clinic at San Antonio hospital and others. Blood test results always take 5-7 days. AT RMC the results the attending physicians need are emailed immediately.
Our friend Richard had successful operation at RMC. My friend Charlotte now has Dr Morett and no longer must drive to Guad. Another friend Marie had a horrible orthopedic ER surgery at Ajijic Hospital. After 8 weeks of constant pain, Marie got plate and screws removed by another ORTHO surgeon named Dr Armando from GUAD. Marie now rides her bike again. ASK questions before the ACCIDENT.
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