Anybody have any ideas on what's the best thing to do for health insurance while living in Medellin? I planning on living there for a year starting in July 2006. Which is the best way to go? The local health insurance or the expensive traveler's insurance from American insurance companies? Thanks for your help.

Posted on November 30, 2005

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Try this one Try Coomeva. That is the one I use and if I am not mistaking, you can use them if you are a foriegner. I use them thru my wife.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Out of pocket Unless you have some unique condition, you might consider paying out of pocket for any medical care in Colombia and carrying evacuation insurance in case anything really bad happens and you want to go back to the US. That's assuming, of course, that you continue to maintain coverage in the USA.

Medical care in Bogota and Medellin is excellent and very affordable.

Posted on November 30, 2005

if you go for the local health insurance I had Salud total and it was pretty good. I paid 22 dolars a month or so

Posted on November 30, 2005

GBI is.. pretty well correct except it has been my experience that you HAD BETTER check with your US health carrier before depending upon it for coverage. Almost universally YOU must pay up front then attempt to get reembursed upon return.

BTW-what type of visa will you have that will make a difference.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Colombians in America - Using Your Insurance from Colombia Does anyone have insurance from Colombia, if so, are you able to use it in America? And I mean by getting $15 doctor visits, $15 RX drugs, $500 deductible off of most common medical services, etc.

I doubt this can be done, but maybe someone knows a way.


Posted on November 30, 2005

Not correct If you don't have a cedula than you can not get the local health insurance.

I have a family policy, covers three people. Cost,, $49,000 pesos per month. The girl is Colombian but I don't think they care if you can fill out the form. NOT WORTH getting special insurance or rider.

If you can't get on a plane,, you are SCREWED,, unless you have special riders. Ambulance flights to U.S. are $10,000 USD and up.

If you have money,, they will take it. Used it once for a checkup, no problem. Think there was a little copay,, maybe 75 cents,, the blood test,, hummm,, 500 pesos, had to pay for the needle,, I guess?

Doctor was really good,, spoke a little English.

You must remember,, I live in a Rural Town and am the only Foreigner and the town has ONE stop light. Things are much better here in Valle Cauca,, than say CHOCO territory,, there you can get shoot for free and I'd bet if you survive the bullet you probably won't survive the hospital.

Posted on November 30, 2005

POCO What company are you using for your family coverage?

Posted on November 30, 2005

insurance Go to post number 13789 on this site and Bob explains it. I also have ColSanitas and EPS Sanitas. They are at the higher end for health insurance, and a Spanish company. They are on the internet but in spanish. My other half and i pay 90 U.S a month, and BAQ who hangs out on this site has another he is happy with, however i can not recall the name.

I recall also for 3 months coverage outside Colombia, with EPS Sanitas it is around 200 U.S but only for emergency purposes.

Also look at post 12018 i just found..

Posted on November 30, 2005

cedulas So without a cedula one cannot purchase local health insurance? How long is the process to obtain a cedula?

Posted on November 30, 2005

cedula I do not have a cedula as my other half is Colombian.

Unless someone on this board can come up with the correct answer (as i notice there have been 2 different ones so far), Bob on post 13789 has his mail and phone number listed. He is a gringo living there, and he can tell you exactly what is what on a cedula, and different insurance possibilities. I will be in Colombia next weekend for a month and could find if you do not have an answer in the interim. Just P.M. me next weekend if you do not have an answer and i willl work on it.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Insurance Coverage I had Coomeva. They seem to be the number one provider. Most employees and city workers are covered under their plan.

Because I live in a Rural Area and the Hospital is associated with S.O.S. or EPS SERVICIO OCCIDENTAL DE SALUD S.A. so I changed. Coomeva has a clinic with hospital beds but the main Hospital is much bigger and is better equipped and has an emergency room and an ambulance. Probably if I lived in a city I'd stay with Coomeva. I??m listed as the cotizante on the card. You'd think they would want a Colombian as the primary payer,, but no,, not necessary.

Thinking about it,, would a U.S. medical insurer require citizenship or a card???

Posted on November 30, 2005

US medical insurers do not need citizenship, or even a green card, but you do need a ss number and to get one of those you supposedly need one or the other of the above.

Posted on November 30, 2005

The Wife and I... have Colsanitas in Bogotá and have no complaints. If your Spanish is up to it here is their web site: Covers everything.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Sanitas Well they just require your U.S passport number, which is then printed on your EPS Sanitas card and ColSanitas cards.

Without a cedula you just bring your U.S. passport with you when going to a clinic for identification purposes.

For the two of us it is 90 U.S. a month. The same in the states abut 750 a month. Really cheap in a gringos book compared to the states.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Opinion,, Ha, Ha You guys crack me up,,, search for someone to hang out with that knows the system, where to go, and how to get things done.

Who knows what kind of answer/help or understanding you'd get from an 21 year old with a fifth grade education in the United States. I'd say most appear to have found just that in Colombia.

NO CEDULA, no wife, tourist visa and I have insurance and have had it for about two years. If one company doesn't insure then ask another. I've had two,,, gezzzz, I'm so glad I don't need to go into a city when I'm in Colombia. REALLY GLAD,,

Posted on November 30, 2005

Cedula Hi, You have to "be born" in Colombia to get a Cedula. It is the most important document a Colombian can have. I don`t know about health insurance, I am a Colombian, but I live In L.A. and will be going for good soon. I would like to know myself.

Posted on November 30, 2005

@ Lisa You live in Los Angeles? But are leaving permanently for Colombia soon?

Posted on November 30, 2005

I have one and I was NOT born in Colombia-never heard of that before.

Posted on November 30, 2005

insurance Well someone gave the Colsanitas website at another post. Go look as it will probably give most of the information one is looking for.

For 2 people i pay 90 U.S. a month, and as a gringo my passport number is on both EPS and Colsanitas plan credit card size cards. Telephone numbers on both my cards say 01-8000 919100 or 644-9000 in Bogota. I could not read any of the mexican writing only the numbers on the cards.

Posted on November 30, 2005

In the US No Social Security Number is requiered Only the Money. Show US the Money! If you want health insurance, a Visa, money is the only prerequisite.Have $250,000???-you have an Investor's Visa Now! Welcome to the USA, bring your $$$.

Posted on November 30, 2005

GIB... is correct-most the time I just make a 'phone call. (We both have an advantage of being in the country.)

Posted on November 30, 2005


YES, if your SPOUSE is Colombian he/she can place you on his/her plan if they already have a policy HOWEVER you still need a Cedula. If you are living here with your spouse you should have a Cedula.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Well, well, well Gosh,, you guys being in Colombia and all,, what at bunch of suckers.

Telephone in Colombia,,, Ha,, Ha,,, BIG MISTAKE. They will tell you ANYTHING,, frankly I don't think they answer sometimes because it might be more work,,,

I'm on a TOURIST VISA (I'm only in country 6 months a year).

Think I'll walk down to the Coomeva Office Tomorrow and ASK,, in person. Just for fun,, I have insurance now,, no problem,,, heck,, think I'll take a photo and post that,,,,

TACTICAL,, you are wrong,, and I'm living proof,,, but maybe I just look more trustworthy and they BENT the rules,,

Calling in Colombia,, those same folks are waiting for the mail to arrive or looking for a mail box. I've been here long enough to know calling is a total waste of time.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Changin the rules POCO, since you have had coverage for two years or more, did ya ever stop to think they might have changed the rules?

Similar to the marriage visa, a year ago you needed one, now its not required.

As far as Coomeva, that little green colored plastic card they give you as proof you have coverage, take a look, it has your name and CEDULA number on it.

I don;t make the rules, I am only providing the information COOMEVA told us and REQUIRED when we got our health insurance policy

Posted on November 30, 2005

Six Months? Boy, that sure puts me to shame!

Posted on November 30, 2005

Was wondering I was wondering about the 6 month thing myself. Seems like a very odd arrangement.

So you pay health insurance all year in Colombia when you are only here 6 months and premiums all year in America while you are their only six months? DOUBLE premiums?

Posted on November 30, 2005

Checking Sure,, maybe Coomeva did change,, there are many others in Colombia,, although Coomeva MAY insure if you know how to answer the Cedula question.

Funny,, on the news a few minutes ago Coomeva employees had stolen a significant amount of money from the company,, seems they were pocketing the premiums,, didn??t say how much,, Home office was the theft point.

Well,, I thought I explained it,,, but here it is AGAIN,,,,

When they ask for a Cedula give them your drivers license.

It has your picture on it,,, get it,, they want to verify the insured,,, They might see it and ask for a passport but I've never had this happen. HOWEVER if you wish to go through life not checking other companies,, or can't find someone with some snap to help your,, or ???

Anyway,, it rained today so I didn't make it down to Coomeva,, maybe tomorrow,,, I worked on removal of the old sink,,, every Colombian kitchen I??ve seen has a concrete sink base,, this house had a concrete sink, nice job,, grinded it sooth but not easy to clean. Had to hammer it out.

To accomplish any significant home improvement in Colombia requires a 4? angle grinder and suggest an SDS hammer drill with selectable chisel function.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Just as I THOUGHT Just as I thought,,, er,, tactically speaking

Coomeva WILL INSURE people that DO NOT HAVE A COLOMBIAN CEDULA,,, and this is in Valle Cauca,,, maybe tooooo many shifty looking foreigners were trying to slip by in the bigger cities,,, :)

The original post had said ??NO CEDULA ?? NO INSURANCE?,, the edited version said Coomeva,,, and YEP,, that was wrong,, at least as a blanket statement. To make sure COOMEVA had the facts right,, they were asked if an AMERICAN friend coming to Colombia could obtain insurance w/o a CEDULA.

I??d have checked sooner but had to temporarily finish the kitchen sink,, eating being the priority or at least washing dishes until the tile can be installed.

Posted on November 30, 2005

Looking at your construction photos, Poco, reminds me of my wife's continual comments about North American residential construction. She says everything is really flimsily constructed here and you can stick your hand through any piece of drywall. She says if you tried to put your hand through a Colombian residential wall, you'd hurt your hand. Sure enough everything looks pretty sturdy in your photos. I guess there's a lot of concrete and masonry used in construction there or at least that's the way it looked to me.

Posted on November 30, 2005