Video: Need-to-Know Health Insurance Tips in Panama

International Living Panama editor, Jessica Ramesch, talks to Kevin Bradley of Ducruet, who has been an insurance professional in Panama for decades. In this video, he and his business partner Gonzalo discuss health insurance tips that could save you valuable time and money.

Panama offers good quality medical care and modern hospitals in the metropolitan areas. In Panama City, Chitre, Coronado, Boquete and David, there are excellent hospitals with modern facilities.

Many Panamanian doctors are U.S.-trained, and the standards at the top hospitals compare favorably with those in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Most other cities have smaller facilities that offer basic services and that can help coordinate a transfer to a larger facility nearby if the need ever arises.

Private health insurance is available and much less expensive than insurance in the U.S. (because doctor’s fees and hospital visits are much cheaper).

Two more reasons why health insurance here is so affordable: 1) malpractice insurance is very low because the laws do not allow for frivolous lawsuits; and 2) the average income is around $400 a month.

Prices for prescription drugs are low as well, because manufacturers price them for the market. Plus, some drugs that require a prescription elsewhere are available over the counter in Panama. If you do take medication regularly, though, check to make sure it is available in Panama…many U.S. and European medications are available here, but there can be exceptions.

In this video, you’ll learn about:

  • An international insurance option called Bupa
  • What insurance may be better for older expats (over 60) and expats with pre-existing conditions
  • Why local insurance companies might turn you away
  • Mutual insurance companies versus stock companies

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