Although basic health insurance is mandatory, services may not always be the best in terms of waiting times. This is why many Colombians choose to supplement the basic insurance with an additional healthcare plan.
Most EPS offer such complementary plans (Plan Complementario), for better and quicker service, and it is highly recommended to sign up for one. Complementary plans also include a wider range of health centers and clinics, suggested specialist doctors and additional support in emergency situations.
You can also sign up for a private health insurance to supplement your EPS plan. With this, you pay a monthly fee in exchange for a certain number of doctor visits or other health services. You become eligible to contract private health insurance as soon as you have become a resident in the country.
You will need to consider your budget, your priorities and your preferred providers. Not all private health insurance plans will reimburse the services of all clinics. If you have decided upon a preferred doctor, you can ask whether he or she accepts payment through any health insurance plan.
International health insurance can be obtained in the form of an extended travel insurance for permanent expats. This is ideal if you still want to have coverage in your home country or if you are not a resident of Colombia yet. Nevertheless, once you become legally allowed to reside in the country, it is easiest to rely on your mandatory EPS plan, supplemented by a private healthcare plan.
Many insurance companies from around the globe offer expat insurance, so it is good to compare conditions, benefits and costs and choose the one that suits you best in terms of value and flexibility.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Bogotá is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Colombia. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Colombia: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Colombia, visit our partner APRIL International