Emergency Medical Care | iTravel - Cabo | Be Safe
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What to do in a medical emergency

-       Most resorts have contracts with specific medical service providers. So get the concierge to call a doctor or an ambulance.

-       Your insurance plan may specify which hospitals you can use. Make sure you have these details.

-       If a medical emergency occurs, outwith your resort, or hotel, call 911 for an ambulance.

-       An ambulance will take you to hospital. You will be charged for this service.

-       Ambulances will try to take you to the hospitals that pay them a commission. So if you have a specific hospital in mind -make sure you know the name.

-       Red Cross Ambulances are free, but they don’t pick up tourists. 

Advice from US Consulate:

The US consulate has three main pieces of advice when it comes to medical matters. They urge all US citizens to:

1) Make sure they have adequate medical insurance that will cover emergency medical treatment, as well as evacuation in case of an emergency. 

2) Join the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  because it will enable the US Embassy to trace you in the event of an emergency. And to send you receive regular security updates. 

3) Monitor the State Department’s website for the latest Country Specific Information for Mexico.

Emergency Medical Care in Cabo

Emergency Medical Care in Cabo

What Happens in an Emergency?

An accident can happen anywhere. We often assume, that because we have full health insurance coverage at home, that we will be protected when we travel. Nine times out of ten this is not the case in Mexico.

You need to understand how the medical system in Mexico works. What happens if you require emergency medical care? Will your insurance cover it?  Which hospital should you go to? How will you get there? Let's find out...

How the Mexican Health Care System works

The Mexican health care system – “Insituto Mexicano de Seguro Social”- only covers Mexican citizens, and legal immigrants who are paying into the system. So, if you are travelling to Mexico you need full medical travel insurance. Without it, you could face huge bills. Especially for emergency medical treatment.

Existing US Health Care Plans

Don’t presume that your existing US healthcare plan will cover you in Mexico. Chances are it won’t. But best check with your provider. You may be able to enhance your policy for the period of your travel. If not, you will have to buy an additional medical travel insurance policy.

Paying Up front

If you do need medical treatment whilst in Mexico, you may be required to pay for the services up front. At the very least, you will be asked to show proof of your ability to pay. This means that prior to any treatment you would  be expected to: a) to show evidence of your insurance policy; b) give credit card details. 

Reimbursement of costs

Even when you do have satisfactory health insurance, it is very difficult to invoke it. Payment is almost always expected up front. For Mexicans and Tourists. That is just how the system works. First you have to pay. And then you are responsible for claiming reimbursement from your insurance company.

Choosing A Policy

Make sure you do your homework. There are really two key areas to consider. The first is the level of practical help your insurance company will provide on the ground in Mexico. The second is the level of coverage in your policy, and what exactly is included

1. Practical Help

Check that they have the right infrastructure in place. For example, do they a 24/7 toll-free-number with English speaking operators? Do they provide help finding English speaking medical practitioners? Do they provide help co-ordinating any care you may need? Do they have contracts with specific hospitals in the Los Cabos area? If so, which ones?

2. Level of cover

Make sure you do your homework. It is essential that your health insurance plan includes all emergency medical care and medical evacuation. So, if necessary, you would have sufficient coverage to get flown home to America. And read the small print. Not all health insurance policies will cover you if you engage in high-risk activities like diving, rock climbing etc. And please note – not all policies will cover you for injuries sustained  - “while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

And finally...

Well, what can we say - we all know that Cabo is full of adrenaline pumping activities. And full of bars. Like we said, do your homework. Make sure you are covered. And have a great time. 

Warning for Visitors to Cabo

Several hospitals in the Los Cabos area have been heavily criticised in recent years for the excessive medial charges visitors have been forced to pay.

In response, the US Consulate in Mexico removed these hospitals from their recommended lists in April 2016. So, it is definitely worth checking these details before you trip.

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