So Karen, you thought you were home free. You got your residente temporal and it only took five months. But now it’s time to get health insurance.
First step is to get all the documents together. Two mug shots. Check. Two photocopies of front page of passport. Check. Two photocopies of residente temporal tarjeta. Check. Two photocopies of utility bill. Check. Two photocopies of letter from landlord indicating that he is acting on behalf of the person named on the utility bill. Check. Two photocopies of landlord’s identification card. Check.
Now it’s time to head to the office of Seguro Popular. This is too easy. The office is a mere six blocks from my house. And it is too easy. I’m not eligible as I don’t have a residente permanent. Time to check out the other government program called IMMS.
So off I go to IMMS the following week. Nope. Not eligible here either. There must be a minimum of two people in a household to sign up for this program. I offer to pay for two and the man shakes his head. He tells me that the school where I teach is obligated by law to provide me with health insurance and that is the only way I can qualify. And of course the school does not provide insurance for the teachers.
Frustrated I turn to the Expat groups on Facebook. Not surprisingly many people have shared my experience. However several others have been able to obtain Seguro Popular with a temporal. Apparently in Nayarit and in Mazatlan IMSS is available to singles. And the comments continued to be voiced.
I have this remarkable student who also happens to be a doctor in an IMSS hospital. He investigated further for me and informed me that it was possible for me to obtain insurance. And if I didn’t mind, he would like to accompany me to the office to register for health insurance. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed by his kindness and generosity.
And I only needed one additional document. I required my birth certificate translated into Spanish by a state designated translator. And of course the obligatory two photocopies of said document. Check.
So off we went to IMSS. Initially we were informed that I did not qualify as there must be a minimum of two people. Here we go again! Pedro was very persuasive and an hour and a half later I was given approval to apply for health coverage. But first we must return to the main floor where I will be given a number for social security. So down we go only to be told that the computers are down and have been down for a week. And without a number I am unable to go through the application process. Therefore another visit was now necessary.
And the computers are still down a week later. And apparently not just at IMSS, but at Immigration as well. My CURP number was supposed to be available days ago, but has not surfaced. I need this number to register for taxes and get a seniors discount card, among other things. My lawyer and good friend German is looking into this for me now. And once this is all out of the way, I want to open a bank account. And maybe it’s time to get my Canadian phone unlocked. I’m tired of carrying around two phones. And then ………..
Stay tuned for Part 2……………….