Healthcare in Panama City

International healthcare, medical insurance in Panama City

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Health insurance is not required in Panama and some people simply pay the low costs of health care out-of-pocket. That said, insurance is also inexpensive and is recommended.

Public Healthcare in Panama

Government health care is available to permanent residents and citizens of Panama. It is administered by Ministerio de Salud de la República de Panamá. However, most foreign citizens choose private healthcare and many Panamanians also prefer it. 

Tourist Insurance in Panama

Visitors can access free healthcare via Seguro al Turista (Tourist Insurance) in their first thirty days in Panama. To receive free care, you must enter Panama through Tocumen Airport.

The costs covered include those associated with:

  • Accidents
  • Diseases contracted in Panama
  • Emergency dental treatment

Private Healthcare in Panama

Not all expats rely on independent health insurance, but more and more people are switching to internationalhealthcoveragebecauselocalpoliciestendtobemorelimitingforforeigners.Inordertofindtherightprogram,youshouldconsider:

  • if you are covered to choose any hospital or practice, or only a select few
  • what the deductible is for your prospective plan (typically $1000-$5000 annually)
  • if the plan has international coverage that will cover you in Panama
  • what the lifetime limit is, especially if you expect to be in Panama for a while (limits are often $1-5 million)

Some benefits to look for are:

  • the inclusion of top hospitals in Panama (Punta Pacifica, Punta Paitilla, San Fernando and Hospital Nacional)
  • the ability to go to any doctor or facility, whether in or out of the network, and still be covered for 100% of eligible expenses after your deductible.
  • the option to exclude your native country if you don’t spend a couple of months there every year as it is more cost effective to exclude it.
  • coverage of some or all pre-existing conditions, as many companies won’t consider covering any pre-existing conditions
  • a new physical by an affiliate physician is not mandatory

Update 23/06/2018


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Expatriate health insurance

Expatriate health insurance in Panama

With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Panama City 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 Panama. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover! works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.

Insurance solutions to suit your profile and with the flexibility to meet your insurance needs

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 Panama: 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 Panama, visit our partner APRIL International

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