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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

HEALTH - Health Care and Americans Retiring


Health Care And Americans Retiring In Mexico

by Anne Mcenany



The International Community Foundation released its report “Health Care and American Retirees in Mexico” to educate and inform retirees and policymakers about health care trends in the U.S. retiree population in Mexican coastal communities. The report is the second of five research studies on this topic that will be published by the Foundation.



Already, the majority of Americans residing in Mexico obtain some health care services in Mexico, particularly dental care, lower-cost prescription drugs and routine medical exams. To learn more, the International Community Foundation surveyed over 840 U.S. retirees in coastal areas of Mexico over 50 years of age.



Key findings include:


• 55 percent of U.S. retirees now living in Mexico were concerned about access to health care when making the decision to relocate.



• 70 percent of respondents indicated that health care was affordable and accessible in Mexico. Almost 61 percent stated that the quality of available health care in Mexico was comparable to the U.S.



• The majority of U.S. retirees in Mexico’s coastal communities would be considered active retirees. Less than 2 percent reported receiving home care or assisted living services in Mexico although over 25 percent have considered assisted living options in Mexico.



• 73 percent of respondents kept their health insurance in the U.S. and 17 percent of those individuals also had insurance in Mexico; 10.8 percent of respondents had no health insurance, while only 7 percent had health insurance only in Mexico.



• 57 percent of respondents return to the U.S. for health care or medical procedures, but over 32 percent do not.



• Retirees living close to the U.S-Mexico border are most likely to procure regular health care services in the United States with over 72 percent doing so. This compares to those Americans living in coastal mainland Mexico that had lower return rate by comparison, 39.7 percent and 46.6 percent respectfully.



• 79 percent of U.S retirees would favor a pilot program to provide Medicare reimbursability to U.S. retirees living in Mexico.



• Although less than 2 percent of respondents currently have home care in Mexico, many more are considering their long-term options for “aging in place” in their adopted communities in Mexico. Yet, Mexico remains a country more suited for active retirees. Currently Mexican coastal communities do not have adequate assisted living, nursing home facilities or have considered handicap accessible land use policies to promote U.S. retirees “aging in place.”

The complete report and research methodology can be accessed at www.icfdn.org/publications/rra.php



The International Community Foundation also has an author’s blog that will be updated regularly

with new information on this topic and others covered in the research series. Anne Mcenany, anne@icfdn.org.