The Argentinian healthcare system is the best among most South American and Latin American nations, especially in bigger cities like Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Salta, La Plata, and Mendoza. The healthcare system has 3 categories: Public, Private, and Social Security Healthcare. So, with all these options, is Argentinian expat health insurance really necessary?
Let’s examine the three sectors of healthcare in Argentina and find out.
The Three Sectors of Argentinian Health Care
Most countries have two divisions of healthcare, public and private. Argentina has three: the Public Healthcare System, run by different unions; the Private Healthcare System; and the Social Security Healthcare System that is for professionals, employees, and employers.
Let us delve a little deeper and understand the pros and cons.
The Public Healthcare Sector
The Argentinian public healthcare system is free for everyone. And by everyone, we don’t just mean the locals. Expats and tourists can also make use of the government-funded programs. Inpatient and outpatient care is completely free. Emergency care, it goes without saying, is free too. All you will need to pay for is the medication required. And the staff is well-trained and qualified.
So, what’s the catch?
Short answer: the language barrier and the wait times. And of course, the discrepancies in the level of care that you get. The staff is knowledgeable and professional, of course. But, most medical professionals in the public healthcare system speak only Spanish. If you don’t know the language or have no one to bridge that gap for you, getting proper health care is tough.
Another downside of the system is that the waiting times are too high. If you need quick and dependable care, the safest option is private care. Private care is expensive, which means you need Argentinian private health insurance to cover your expenses when the need arises.
Healthcare in Argentina costs considerably less than what you would have to pay in the U.S. And yet, the level of care is on par with the U.S., if not better. However, this is the case only in Argentina’s most developed cities. The rest of the country is still struggling with a healthcare system below international standards.
Also, the public sector is run by different unions, and the quality of care you receive will vary significantly. If you need medical evacuation or repatriation, you would have to bear all those costs. This burden is something that not all expats would be comfortable with.
The Social Security Sector
The social security healthcare system is popularly known in Argentina as Obras Sociales. Its services are aimed toward working professionals, employers, and employees. They have to pay compulsory premiums towards the semi-private insurance plan.
Most Argentinians who opt for medical coverage take up this plan, which is run by trade unions. Both employers and employees have to contribute to it. The plans offer fixed coverage: If the cost of medical care exceeds the amount, the employer or the employee has to pay the difference.
This sector covers only Argentinians and legally employed permanent residents. However, for expats employed in the country, Argentina expatriate health insurance is important.
The Private Healthcare Sector
The private healthcare sector offers all that the public sector lacks. It costs more than the public sector, but it is worth it. If you have Argentina private health insurance, the extra cost is easily covered, and you have access to the best care in the country. The cost of private healthcare often varies through different cities in Argentina. This difference depends on the doctor’s skill level and the location of the facility.
If you are looking for quick, affordable healthcare in world-class facilities in Argentina, the private sector is the most suitable for you. With no compulsory Argentinian public health insurance plan, private insurance offers a certain peace of mind, too.
But, that is not all. When you use private insurance, keep these points in mind:
- Private insurance can be extremely localized. It might not even give you country-wide coverage.
- Private insurance can be skipped, and you can use plans offered by medical practitioners. But these plans will be valid only at that one facility.
- The top medical facilities of Argentina are centered in Buenos Aires. In other cities, and rural areas, the cost is low, but the quality of service is even lower.
- Most small and local clinics require you to pay cash up front, even before you get a consultation.
So, what is the solution? How do you get reliable, country-wide insurance and access to top-notch healthcare facilities in Argentina?
The Solution - Argentina Expatriate Health Insurance
Look for Argentina expat health insurance. Unlike private insurance, expat health insurance would cover you across the entire country. You can choose plans that include repatriation, medical evacuation, and many other types of specialized coverage for your specific needs.
All you need to do is find an Argentina expat health insurance provider that covers all your needs. Ensure that the plan covers all the locations where you plan to stay. Ask questions about the coverage and the limits. Specifically, ask about any additional charges you might have to pay.
Understand what’s covered under your expat health insurance in Argentina plan and what isn’t, saving yourself from any surprises later. And most importantly, don’t forget to compare the different policies from major insurers. If you have any questions, or if you need any assistance choosing the plan that best fits your needs, please contact our licensed, experienced representatives.