I’ve been getting questions lately about the future of the Seguro Popular program for expats and want to provide all of you who are interested with an update.
The Mexican government’s Seguro Popular public health insurance program was designed for residents and citizens of Mexico who do not receive coverage through their employment. The program has grown in both enrollment and popularity, but has been a target for reform by the country’s new president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO.
During last year’s presidential campaign, AMLO promised to eliminate Seguro Popular as an approach to tackle the problems of underfunding, regional inequities in service, system fragmentation, coverage limitations and corruption. Now as president, AMLO has re-pledged his commitment to the reform of Mexico’s public healthcare system.
While it is likely that the Seguro Popular program will be absorbed into the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) system to form a single national public healthcare system as part of the reform, there is no timetable for this change and it is estimated that the initiative may take as long as two years to implement.
Seguro Popular has been a successful and affordable insurance program for many expats living in Mexico, but the anticipated reforms raise the question of whether foreigners will continue to be welcomed into the newly-formed national system.
While there are rumors that applications for the Seguro Popular program are not being processed for expats, we have not been able to confirm this. And as with so many things in Mexico, it may not be a matter of policy, but rather a random decision made locally.
Nevertheless, questions about what the future holds for expats who are currently enrolled in Seguro Popular keep coming. At the moment, though, we have not been able to get adequate answers. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available, but the change is unlikely to be speedy.
If you have had personal experiences related to recent events with Seguro Popular, we’d love to share them with others.