Roger Hughes and his wife Candace moved part-time to Uruguay four years ago. A big reason was access to affordable health care.
“We didn’t fancy curtailing our lifestyle to preserve a great portion of our assets for health care costs,” says Roger.
As Roger and Candace had learned, a few countries in the world stand out as places where foreign residents can easily qualify for, and affordably buy, a private health care plan. Uruguay is one of the best. So they bought an apartment in Montevideo in 2008.
Today they have the lifestyle they always wanted, healthier and more affordable. “Everything we need is within a 10-minute walk of this apartment,” says Candace. “We love the tree-lined streets and being able to walk everywhere. We always run into someone we know, it’s just…fun.”
Plus they have access to Uruguay’s health care. Plans are available through local hospitals or health care co-operatives (called mutualistas). Hospitals are top-quality, they say, and health care providers are well-trained and offer excellent care. And compared to the U.S., says Candace, “It’s one-tenth the cost.”
Best of all, in Uruguay you can qualify for a private health plan despite your preexisting conditions or advanced age.
Top quality health care in Uruguay
As for the quality of care, “The sterility level is so high in the hospital that they’ve never had an infection,” Canadian Syd Blackwell says of the hospital where his wife had hip replacement surgery. “And that’s totally remarkable. I think most North Americans will find the health care here astoundingly wonderful and inexpensive compared to what they’re used to. And in Canada, the waiting times can be extraordinary. But not so here.”
The cost for Syd’s own policy? “Just $75 a month and it covers mostly everything,” he says.
Editor’s note: See the current issue of International Living magazine for the full report on Uruguay health care, including costs, premiums, savings, contacts and more. Subscribe now for instant access.
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