Health insurance is essential in countries where healthcare is expensive. A visit to an emergency room could bankrupt someone who does not have insurance.
But not in Panama!
In Panama, healthcare, even in an emergency room, is affordable. Regardless if you go to a public or a private hospital, the costs are a fraction of what they would cost in North America. My last visit to an emergency room was when I thought I had broken my elbow. After many x-rays, two IVs of pain meds, and an orthopedic doctor, the bill at a private hospital, was only $114 without insurance.
Even with the more affordable health care, getting health insurance in Panama is a good idea just in case of a major medical problem.
Health insurance in Panama is very affordable too! Watch the replay of this Livestream about health insurance options in Panama.
Some health insurance companies in Panama will not write a new policy if you are over 60. Some health insurance companies have a cut-off for new policies at 74. But, some hospitals offer insurance with no age restrictions.
Some health insurance companies will not write a new policy if you have pre-existing conditions.
If you’re over 50, most health insurance companies will require a physical to determine if you qualify for a new health insurance policy.
Once you have a health insurance policy, the company will continue to insure you for as long as you pay the premiums. You do not need to worry about being cut off at a certain age.
These are some of your choices for health insurance in Panama.
PANAMA-ONLY HEALTH INSURANCE
One of the most affordable Panama only heath insurance offerings is Family Medical Care Health Insurance (click on the link to see their brochure). They usually don’t cover pre-existing conditions or they may just exclude that condition for the first two years then reevaluate you. They require that you are fully vaccinated for Covid or have a doctor’s exemption letter to qualify.
This is just one example. Of course, there are several other health insurance companies in Panama.
Some hospitals, like Santa Fe Hospital in Panama City, offer their own health insurance programs. See their brochure here (open in Chrome so you can translate it into English). They do not have an age restriction.
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
International Health Insurance is also available. It covers you in Panama or anywhere else in the world. Of course, the costs will be more because you are covered internationally. WorldWide Medical (click on the link to see a brochure) is an excellent policy. You must get a physical to determine if you can be approved. These are typical prices for a 65-year-old:
$1000 Deductible – $6116 a year
$2500 deductible – $4804
$5000 deductible – $3780
If you’re younger, the prices would be less. If you’re older than 65, your prices would be more.
NEW: Now, we have a new international health insurance option for the Panama Relocation Tour group. It is not available through Panama insurance brokers. It covers people over 80 years old and those with preexisting conditions. It includes medical evacuation, if necessary. Unlike Panama-only insurance or international health insurance, this insurance does NOT require a physical or pre-approval. No vaccines are required for this insurance. Everyone in the Panama Relocation Tour group will be approved. We have details inside the Complete Panama Relocation Guide. You can pick your deductible. Here’s an example for a 75 year old:
$1520/year ($5000 deductible)
$2040/year ($1000 deductible)
$2856/year ($100 deductible)
MEDICARE IN PANAMA
If you’re a United States citizen and have the right Medicare Advantage plan, it will cover urgent care or emergencies in Panama. You will need to pay for the care up front, then file a claim to be reimbursed.
Learn about using Medicare in Panama.
If you’re retired from the US Military or were discharged with a disability, you may qualify for Veterans medical benefits in Panama, including prescriptions.
Learn more here
CAN YOU GET HEALTH INSURANCE IN PANAMA?
The best way to find out if you can get health insurance in Panama is to contact a Panamanian health insurance broker.
We have recommendations for several excellent and honest health insurance brokers in the Complete Panama Relocation Guide. The Guide also recommends immigration lawyers, real estate agents, car brokers, and pet relocation companies. It has all the information you need to know to have a hassle-free move to Panama.
If you cannot get health insurance because of your age or pre-existing conditions, you can still get medical care in Panama, but you’ll need to pay out of pocket. A doctor visit is usually less than $20 with no insurance. A specialist is about $50 with no insurance. Or you can go to a public hospital where it is even more affordable.
If you take medications, they could be more expensive in Panama. A prescription is not needed for most medications in Panama.
See this FREE REPORT on the 50 Most Common Medications Prescribed and What they Cost in Panama.
Medications are usually not covered by insurance in Panama. If the medications you take are more expensive in Panama, you may be able to order them through Amazon pharmacy and then get them shipped to Panama using a mail forwarding company.