Health Care in Nicaragua
Joel Stott-Jess, Century 21, San Juan Del Sur
* Update for April 2019, San Juan Del Sur just got a new hospital. Click here to see the article on it! *
Moving to Nicaragua? As a developing country there can be challenges to overcome. For most people though it's easy to find options for private health care in Nicaragua. If you are older and thinking about retiring in Nicaragua, especially if you have chronic or life threatening conditions, you need to consider a couple things: whether the hospitals in your prospective city are sufficient and if the health care options meet your needs. If you are relatively healthy and/or only require occasional doctors visits, there are excellent options for health insurance for expats living in Nica.
Private insurance plans are offered by Seguros America, as well as plans directly from the Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in Central America. These plans can be used to supplement the essentially free socialized healthcare offered by the government. Most healthy expats in Nicaragua here live perfectly fine without health insurance and only pay for services as needed at local health clinics, or centros de salud.
Some common fees for services at a clinic are:
Doctor's visit: $15 to $25
Consultation with a specialist: $30-$50
Overnight Hospital Stay $100
Routine Cleaning: $20-25
Cavities Filled: $20 - $30 each
These fees do vary based on the quality of the hospital and where it is located. Managua is over-represented among doctors. Granada, Leon, Rivas and San Juan Del Sur all have and above average number of medical professionals. The Caribbean Coast and rural areas are underrepresented by the medical community and have issues providing sufficient local services.
Private health insurance in Nicaragua does exist, but it's much different than in the United States, Canada or Europe. ASSA Group offers personal accident insurance but this is limited to accidents rather than ongoing health care in Nicaragua so we won't delve too deeply into into it.
The two main options for Nicaraguan health insurance are:
Private 3rd party health insurance from Seguros America
Health plans offered directly by the Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital.
Seguros America: offers multiple levels of Nicaraguan health insurance, under the Mi Salud brand. There are no age limits, and no deductibles but there is a mandatory physical for people over 40. The top tier plans are the Gold and Gold Plus. Seguros America doesn't list their prices but you can fill in your information in one the page and they will provide a a quote. They work with the Vivian Pellas hospital in Managua as well as other smaller hospitals in other cities.
The contact page for Seguros America lets you request information and their phone number is: (505) 2274 4200
Vivan Pellas Metropolitan Hospital: The private hospital used almost exclusively by expats is the Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital. They are the first choice when a foreigner needs medical attention in Nicaragua beyond a simple broken bone. The facilities are modern, the medical equipment is world class, and the staff is extremely professional and multilingual. Most of the doctors at the hospital have trained abroad. Vivian Pellas offers two different levels health insurance for expats, which they call Golden Club and Silver Club
Golden Club Benefits:
Golden Healthcare Premiums:
Under 20 years $ 25.00
21 – 30 $ 50.00
31 – 40 $ 50.00
41 – 50 $ 58.00
51 – 60 $ 61.00
61 – 65 $ 61.00
Over 65 and pre-existing $ 65.00
Silver Club Discounts
Silver Club coverage::
Silver Club monthly premiums:
Under 20 years $ 16.00
21 – 30 $ 17.00
31 – 40 $ 18.00
41 – 50 $ 22.00
51 – 60 $ 23.00
61 – 65 $ 23.00
Over 65 and pre-existing $ 29.00
If you would like to speak directly to the person in charge at Vivian Pellas Hospitals, the medical tourism manager is Arlen Pérez. Her contact information:
Cellular: (505) 8464 - 0084
US: (305) 396 - 2351
The bottom line is that health care in Nicaragua is very inexpensive by western standards. If you have the money to purchase supplemental health insurance the doctors and the standard of care are excellent!
The author is an agent with Century 21 / Nica Life Realty in San Juan Del Sur. Originally from Alberta, Canada he has been doing business in Nicaragua since 2014. A serial entrepreneur, surfer, and outdoor enthusiast he is an expert on both the real estate and investment markets in Nicaragua. Thanks to his lovely Nicaraguan wife, a medical doctor, he is also well informed on health care services in the country.
Century 21 / Nica Life Realty
San Juan Del Sur
(+505) 8176 8624