Seguro Popular Membership Update
By Clementina Beas
Seguro Popular, the Mexican health plan created for low income Mexicans and available to foreigners with temporary or permanent resident visas, has implemented a fee schedule for all members, according to Sonia Díaz, expert on Seguro Popular enrollment.
Here is what Peace of Mind in San Miguel learned in its recent interview.
Clementina Beas: I thought that Seguro Popular was a free public service.
Sonia Díaz: SP established a moratorium on membership fees in order to build up a large member base. They now require additional finances to hire staff and acquire equipment.
CB: How does SP determine how much members will pay?
SD: The membership fee amount depends on how new and existing members respond to interview questions, some of which are: Do you own your home or do you rent? Do you have cement, dirt, or tile floor in your home? Do you have a refrigerator and stove? How many bedrooms do you have? Do you work?
CB: How will people know exactly how much their membership will cost?
The interview questions, normally in Spanish, are computer-generated and presented by the receptionist. It is important that applicants answer these questions correctly, since errors may result in over-charging. Applicants will be placed in a level (DECIL) from I to X based on their responses. Unfortunately, there is no chart that shows fee amounts based on possible answers or combinations of answers.
Membership fees based on level (DECIL) can be found at www.soniadiaz.mx/health-care.html.
The membership fee is annual and is per family unit (total number people who live in the same household).
CB: When is payment due, and are there payment options?
SD: Payment is due in cash when members first join or when they renew. Members have the option of joining for three months up to three years at a time.
CB: Will new applicants and members know ahead of time which payment level they will fall under before they pay?
SD: No, they will not know until they are interviewed.
CB: I assume that SP staff only speaks Spanish.
SD: SP has one person who speaks a little English. New and existing members can hire a bilingual consultant like myself to help them with this process.
CB: Is there anything else you feel is important for SP members and future members to know?
SD: SP has no age restrictions or exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Coverage is 100 percent from the moment you join and applies to all SP facilities throughout Mexico. In San Miguel, Seguro Popular has the Hospital General and three clinics (Reloj, Alcocer, and La Lejona).
For more information, contact me at: www.soniadiaz.mx, firstname.lastname@example.org and 415 106 1499.
Clementina Beas represents Peace of Mind in San Miguel, a community service project dedicated to educating English-speaking residents and snowbirds on emergency medical preparedness. She offers affordable health insurance and air medical evacuation plans through Mexico Insurance Advisors. Email: email@example.com. Phone (Mexican cell): 415 108 0810.