The Puerto Vallarta Travel Show 'Healthcare, Insurance and Medical Tourism'
Barry Kessler - The Puerto Vallarta Travel Show
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June 14, 2017

Okay, how many of you vacationers who travel to Mexico buy travel insurance before you leave for your trip? You don’t? How about this warning from Pamela Thompson, HealthCare Resources, Puerto Vallarta, from the U.S. State Department… US Citizens should be aware of their rights under Mexican Law. Most Mexican healthcare facilities require payment “up front” prior to performing a procedure. Most hospitals in Mexico do not accept U.S. domestic health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid and will only accept payment via cash, credit, debit card or bank transfer.

How about this headline? "Medical bills leave Lafayette woman stranded in Mexico." Or this one...? "Man trapped in Mexican Hospital with allergic reaction to a jellyfish sting and a $50,000 bill". There are numerous articles you can find with a simple google search that tell us something that many of us never think about when we go to Mexico on vacation. What happens if something happens to us when we are in paradise? In fact, we talked about the subject of hospitals and doctors in Puerto Vallarta with Brad and Tami back on episode 18 I think. They had several incidents where they needed medical attention and they luckily had travel insurance that covered their medical bills.

That brings us to our very special guest, Pamela Thompson of HealthCare Resources in Puerto Vallarta. I was introduced to Pamela by several of my friends here who insisted she is the go to person when it comes to healthcare in Puerto Vallarta. She does so much here. You will see that she is involved in so many facets of the medical world, although her main thrust is Medical Tourism, and I was surprised at the types of medical procedures that she arranges for her clients in paradise. Kinda cool really. But this is going to be a very informative conversation and I would like to wrap it up at the end, with a quick review and good, reviewable show notes too. As usual. So let’s go to San Javier Hospital in Puerto Vallarta and join up with Pamela Thompson.

Listen to the Podcast

That was a lot of great information. The main takeaways...

• There is no such thing as free medical care here. Doesn’t matter how poor you are.

• The public system is the IMSS system and the regional hospital, that's the IMSS and Seguro Popular. Seguro Popular was created for the poorest of the poor.

• The regional hospital is a sad place.

• Medicare supplement or HMO doesn’t pay directly outside of the United States.

• And the air evacuation is very, very expensive and it must be paid upfront, before that plane takes off down the runway. So it's important to have air evacuation policy or have your insurance include an air evac policy.

• Just have a good traveler’s insurance.

• Best Quote " One of the things that I said in an article I wrote recently is, it's not always the case, but I say, I have seen in the past, especially this past year, a policy sometimes is just as good as the agent you buy it from. Some agents, and I use the term loosely, are don't really know the policy. You know, go to a website that have many of the insurance policies. Pretty much anybody can become an agent. They just make a commission on it. Some of them don't really even understand the policy. You want an agent that's going to be there to help you and that really understands the policy in case you have a claim or you have an emergency. That's really important."

• Make sure you are with an agent that understands the policy and that goes for an international policy or a Mexican private policy.

• The doctors Pam works with total 26 of all specialties.

I hope you got as much out of this conversation as I did. Pam Thompson, you are a very special person indeed and the people of Puerto Vallarta are so lucky to have you working for them. If you want to put Pamela to work for you, check out HealthCare Resources or email her at

Well we are through for today. I hope you enjoyed our talk with Pamela Thompson of HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta.

Next week stay tuned for more on the ground reports from Puerto Vallarta Mexico and other surprises and Puerto Vallarta Travel tips and ideas.

For all the PV Podcasts, visit The Puerto Vallarta Travel Show.

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