For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ.

How to Use Medicare In Panama

Medicare is a health insurance plan available to United States citizens who are 65 or older.

If you have the right Medicare Advantage Plan, you can use it for urgent care and emergencies in Panama, even if you live in Panama full time.

Most Medicare plans will NOT cover you in Panama. So it’s important to have the right Medicare Advantage plan. Watch the video to learn from an Expat Medicare Expert about getting the right Medicare Advantage Plan, so you are covered for urgent care and emergencies in Panama.

Currently, if you use Medicare in Panama, you will need to pay for the upfront costs, then file a claim with your insurance company to be reimbursed.

In Panama, routine medical care is super affordable. It’s less than $20 to see a doctor with no insurance or less than $50 to see a specialist with no insurance. Many doctors speak English.

But if you need urgent care or if you have a medical emergency, it can get expensive, especially if you go to a private hospital. I paid $15,000 for 9 days in the hospital when I had Covid last year. If you to to a public hospital, it will be more affordable.

If possible, you should get health insurance in Panama. Your choices for health insurance are:

1. Panama only health insurance is about $100 a month if you are 60-69. If you are over 70-79, it costs $125 a month. However, most companies are not writing new policies for anyone over the age of 74. And if you have preexisting conditions, you may not be able to get insurance. You must also be fully vaccinated for Covid to get Panama health insurance.

2. International health insurance will cover you globally, including Panama. But it’s expensive. A 66-year-old will pay about $4500 a year. The older you get, the higher the premium. They may exclude preexisting conditions. No Covid vaccine is required.

3. If you’re a US citizen and have the right Medicare Advantage plan, it will cover urgent care and emergencies in Panama. You can get Medicare regardless of your age or preexisting conditions. No Covid vaccine is required. So, a Medicare Advantage plan may be the best option for some. Watch this video to learn more.

See these articles about health insurance:

Health Insurance Options in Panama

Healthcare Options if you Cannot Get Health Insurance

panama healthcare

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Joel Cane says

    Hello Jackie: Just watched you and Jeff Goble on Medicare Advantage options. I am so thankful for the comprehensive effort you provide towards information sharing regarding Panama relocation. I continue to try to help myself, though my beloved spouse still says “over my dead body.” Ultimately, I need to convince myself (and you-know-who) that the FIRST move is one of your tours. Again, bless ALL the Langes. Signed, Joel Cane, Surprise, Arizona

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Joel

      Once “you know who” sees Panama, she will change her mind!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.