Life & Health

I’m a Foreigner. What Are my Options for Medical Attention at the Caja?

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

It’s tough to get sick on vacation. It’s even worse to be in poor health in another country.

That’s why The Voice of Guanacaste explains which public health services foreigners can use, both visitors to Costa Rica and those who are already residents.

If you don’t have seguro social (Costa Rica’s social security for healthcare) and have an emergency or need a general checkup and you can’t go to a private clinic, these are some of the options that the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS) offer:

Using Insurance Policies

Another option for tourists is to use health insurance from a global insurer. You have to purchase these policies in your country of origen and can use it in case of emergencies in Costa Rica.

Kattia Méndez, the head of Hospital La Anexión’s Department of Validation of Rights, indicated that the use of insurance policies by tourists at her hospital is quite common.

“Many foreigners come with a policy from an insurance company. We take care of them and then send the bill to the insurance company, which then makes a wire transfer to the Caja for payment,” said Méndez.

For residents

Foreign residents must, by law, be insured with at least the CCSS’s voluntary insurance.

When using medical services they must present their passport, receipt showing that they’re up to date on their insurance payments, and their insurance card.