Traveling to Costa Rica for medical care

Let’s discuss about traveling to Costa Rica for medical care. Those of you who have had the privilege of visiting this wonderful country are undoubtedly anticipating what the following paragraphs will discuss. This is your introduction to a hidden gem in the heart of the Americas if you haven’t gone there yet. “Another post on the natural wonders of this small country 8 degrees north of the equator?” you may be thinking. Waterfalls, volcanoes, 800 miles of coastline with 300 magnificent beaches separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, rich biodiversity, and hospitable people”.

Let’s take a look at some of the many reasons why you should consider Costa Rica for your medical (corrective surgeries like orthopedic, bariatric, oncology, and so much more…the type of surgeries you’d get at a major hospital), plastic (any kind of) surgery, dental (all procedures like veneers, full mouth reconstruction, crowns, and so on), and fertility:

  • Doctors, nurses, and support workers who have studied and trained at the world’s greatest institutions and hospitals.
  • Doctors and support workers who speak multiple languages. Because all of your communication needs will be covered, you’ll feel completely at home.
  • In many other nations the nurse-to-patient ratio is at best 1:10 vs. 1:2 in Costa Rica.
  • Global Health Intelligence ranked it as the world’s second finest healthcare system.
  • Bloomberg has also named it the healthiest country in Latin America.
  • PROMED: A health chamber established by the Costa Rican government to alleviate the difficulties or worries of medical tourists. PROMED exists to ensure that all affiliated members provide consistent, high-quality medical and dental services to overseas patients visiting Costa Rica (no other country in the world has a “PROMED”).
  • The location is ideal, with quick nonstop flights from several US cities. The same is true for medical tourists from any Latin American country, as well as from Europe. It is convenient for Americans and Canadians to be in the same time zone as their home.
  • Medical facilities that fulfill the world’s top medical standards. With their JCI accreditation, several of these facilities lift the standard even further (Joint Commission International accreditation and certification is recognized as a global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety).
  • Access to established medical procedures and treatments that may be unavailable in your area due to local, regional, or national laws/regulation.
  • Cutting-edge technologies and facilities.
  • Significant discounts, with most cases saving between 50-70% compared to US prices.
  • Your local health insurance policy (regardless of where you live in the world) may cover your care in Costa Rica completely. All you have to do is ask your insurance company or, and we’ll find out for you.
    • What is the significance of this? Your percentage of a deductible for a $50,000 procedure in the United States versus a $15,000 surgery in Costa Rica could be far lower, not to mention co-insurance. Consider a knee replacement.
  • You will save a lot of money, and your insurance company will love you (even if they don’t say it). Furthermore, if you work for a self-insured company, your employer may waive your deductible entirely and even cover your airline, accommodation, and local transportation.
  • A video is worth a thousand words….watch video
  • Costa Rica’s fascinating history:
    • On September 15, 1921, a democratic country became an independent republic.
    • In 1824, slavery was abolished (the US did it in 1865).
    • The army was disbanded in 1948..

The list could go on forever, but for more information, visit We’ve done all the legwork to ensure you have access to high-quality healthcare, a secure location, ease of access, and significant savings. Other medical facilitators exist, but they supply an infinite number of nations, cities inside those countries, healthcare providers within those locations, and so on. By selecting a destination, such as Costa Rica, you may narrow your search to an area that can satisfy your needs without the hassle of attempting to select a country and a provider. Even better, you will be able to speak with the medical specialist who will handle your need(s), rather than a medical assistant or an intermediary.

It is also critical to consider safeguarding against the inherent dangers of any medical procedure. It is important to note that we are discussing the hazards of any medical operation, not the risks of medical tourism. What is the significance of this distinction? Because these hazards remain regardless of where your desired medical procedure is conducted, including right in your own backyard.We’ve all heard stories about things going wrong locally or while traveling for care. This is why Patient Journey is happy to have partnered with Global Protective Solutions (GPS) to provide every medical traveler with Complications Coverage. This is not an option for you in your own country. So, for self-insured or elective self-pay operations, this Peace of Mind is not available locally.

We welcome you to make your own study on Costa Rica, an excellent medical tourism destination. And, of course, we invite you to visit our website, which provides a wealth of information if you wish to take advantage of all that Costa Rica has to offer the globe.

You might also be interested in: Top Medical Tourism Destinations in South and Central America

Medical tourism in Mexico from the United States

Over a million Americans travel to Mexico each year for a variety of medical procedures, which must be noted when talking about medical tourism in Mexico from the United States. These categories comprise aesthetic procedures such as bariatric, breast augmentation, body contouring, and more lately, a spike in dental procedures.

One of the primary reasons Americans engage in medical tourism is clearly the economic aspect, since the price difference is significant, and the medical services supplied are of excellent quality.

The services provided by qualified doctors in Mexico are extremely reasonable for Americans, and this type of medical tourism package might cover the cost of tickets, medical care based on speciality, interventions, hospitalization, and therapy. Post-operative care for the patient and his or her travel companion may also be provided.

What requirements are there for medical tourism from the United States to Mexico?

People from the United States or other countries in the world who wish to receive medical treatment in Mexico must meet a number of requirements in order to carry out their plans to mix tourism with medical care from the top Mexican doctors.

Americans will always be welcomed in Mexico; nevertheless, they must meet a minimum of conditions that are required of every foreigner who intends to enter the Mexican border.

The primary requirements are:

  • Present a valid passport and the Multiple Migration Form, also known as the FMM.
  • This form is distributed to foreign passengers on board the airline, or you can request it in advance online at the following URL:;
  • Show your ticket.

What other requirements must you meet before you can begin your travel and medical aid plan?

Americans traveling to Mexico for surgical interventions or medical treatments must bring certain additional documents, including, but not limited to:

  • A previous evaluation from your current doctor to present to the specialist doctor in the clinic or hospital; and a copy of your current insurance card.
  • Proof of current relevant payments with the insurance carrier. This will ensure that your initial consultation is examined and that you are referred to a specialist surgeon, and the same firm may also guarantee reimbursement for hospitalization bills, professional fees, and prescriptions.

What advantages do American patients have when they travel to Mexico with a Medical Tourist Insurance policy?
Traveling to Mexico as an American insured can save you 40% to 70% on cosmetic operations and surgical interventions.

In the case of bariatric and dental procedures, it is possible to earn up to a 75% discount if performed in the United States. Orthopedic procedures and treatments might be discounted by up to 70%.

Medication and prescriptions for Americans undergoing surgery or other types of medical treatment can be discounted by up to 30%.

Why do Americans travel to Mexico for medical treatment?
Americans are determined to find outstanding medical tourism services wherever they travel. Mexico has internationally known specialists who are regarded as the best in all medical areas. Americans desire to witness the beauty that Mexico has to offer in addition to obtaining effective bariatric, cosmetic, dental, and orthopedic treatment. Citizens who undergo surgery or any other sort of medical treatment might receive up to a 30% discount on the cost of drugs.

What tourist attractions does Mexico have for medical health tourism patients?
The following are some of the most popular tourist sites for patients who desire to mix health and recreation:

  • Mexico City,
  • Mexicali,
  • Cancun,
  • Guadalajara,
  • Ensenada,
  • Ciudad Juarez,
  • Querétaro,
  • Rosarito,
  • Reynosa,
  • Tecate,
  • Tijuana,
  • Nuevo Laredo,
  • San Luis de Potosí,
  • Puebla,
  • Monterrey,
  • Matamoros,
  • Navojoa,
  • Hermosillo,
  • etc.

Mexico is rapidly gaining rankings and fame for the upgrades to its medical facilities, which have been designated as “World Class” and, since 2018, have been awarded the Gold Standard title.

Mexico stands out for its prompt treatment to its patients, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Mexico is now training world-class dentists, providing students with financial assistance to complete their education in exchange for their delivering free dental care in their communities for at least a year. Mexico has made huge efforts to maximize its treatment in every medical profession, which helps to give physical and emotional care to all of their tourists.
If you are traveling for medical treatment, please verify your travel insurance policy. Most policies exclude this type of travel, therefore a separate policy may be required to cover travel-related injuries or illnesses, which can include complications coverage while you are abroad and for up to 6 months after you return home.

You might also be interested in: Medical Tourism: Healthcare and a Vacation In One

Top Medical Tourism Destinations in South and Central America


As South America’s largest and wealthiest country, Brazil is an extremely popular medical tourist destination. Brazillian culture values aesthetics and personal appearance, and they have been at the forefront of cosmetic procedures for their own residents. It is the world’s second-highest plastic surgery market, second only to the U.S., with more than 4,000 licensed plastic surgeons. For comparison, the U.S. has about one thousand more. Popular aesthetic procedures here include breast augmentation and reduction, liposuction, dental implants, rhinoplasty, and buttock implants. 


Chile is the wealthiest country in South America per capita, although it is smaller in size and population than Brazil. It is politically stable and a founding member of the United Nations. There are two JCI-accredited hospitals in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, in addition to numerous private healthcare providers. Private practices are operated to the highest of standards, yet the care is still less expensive than when using insurance in the U.S. or Europe. Chile’s natural beauty and ecologically diverse landscape make it a stunning place to be as you recover from any procedure. Plastic and reconstructive surgeries are the most common medical tourism procedures including breast augmentation, face and body lift and tummy tuck. However, Chilean hospitals also offer medical tourists with top quality internal medicine, oncology, and neurology services among others.  


This small country links the Latin and South American regions and is another popular medical tourist destination. With the creation of the Panama Canal, this country became increasingly important as it linked eastern and western trade routes especially for the U.S. The U.S. still maintains strong diplomatic relations with Panama today. English is widely spoken, and the national currency is the U.S. dollar. Many doctors trained abroad in the U.S. or U.K., so you can expect high-quality standards of care at a price that is lower than in North America or Europe. Punta Pacifica Hospital is also the only South American medical facility to maintain a partnership with the prestigious John’s Hopkins University. The most popular procedures here are specialized surgeries, orthopedics, and in-vitro fertilization. Medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgeries are also popular. 

Costa Rica

Much like its neighbor Panama to the south, Costa Rica is a country brimming with opportunities for medical tourists. With cost savings between 40 to 60% for U.S. citizens and hundreds of miles of beautiful beachfront, it is easy to see why this land of sun and sand is so popular. Because Costa Rica also has a thriving leisure tourism market, you will find plenty of beautiful sights and entertainment as you recover. In fact, some hotels are set up as special outpatient recovery suites with around-the-clock access to medical professionals, should you need them during your recovery. Most medical tourism in Costa Rica is centered on cosmetic surgery, with dental implants, breast augmentation, and facelifts topping the list.

Medical Tourism Insurance 

If you are planning a medical tourism trip to South America or another region of the globe, medical tourism insurance can help reduce your risk. Reach out today to learn more.

Tropical Medical Tourism Destinations

Most medical tourists engage in the practice to save thousands of dollars on medical procedures, but the tourism aspect of medical tourism should not be overlooked! Medical tourists should think hard about what kind of atmosphere they’d like to rest and recover in. If that atmosphere involves tropical beaches and sunshine, here are three countries to check out for your medical tourism trip. 


With beautiful beaches and beautiful people, Brazil is a popular tourism destination on its own. It also has a strong medical tourism market, boasting 6,011 licensed cosmetic surgeons! This puts sunny Brazil second in the global cosmetic surgery market – narrowly topped by the US with 6,900 licensed plastic surgeons. Popular procedures for medical tourists are predominately cosmetic: breast augmentation, dental implants, facelifts, liposuction, and more – all at around half the cost the procedure would be in the US or UK. With 2,095 beaches along a 4,650-mile coastline, Brazil certainly has a lot to offer a medical tourist looking for a tropical recovery spot. 


As an incredibly popular medical tourism destination for decades, Thailand had to make this list! The “Land of Smiles” has the highest number of JCI accredited hospitals in Southeast Asia and is number four worldwide, after Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE. If that isn’t impressive enough, the country’s tropical beaches are also renowned worldwide for their beauty. If the beach is not your scene, Thailand’s ancient ruins and many beautiful temples are another beautiful sight to behold. However, you may not ever have to leave the hospital to experience a relaxing recovery in Thailand. The high standard of care in Thai hospitals and medical facilities means that many host recovery services onsite, such as relaxation therapies, recovery gardens, and massages. Popular procedures for medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dental work, and dermatology. 

Costa Rica 

With a healthcare system that’s often ranked above the US and Canada in quality, Costa Rica is a medical tourism destination to watch. The majority of medical tourism procedures occur in San Jose, where all the best hospitals are, but the country has much more to offer in the way of tourism. The rainforested country is well known for its beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, and native biodiversity. Medical tourists who like adventure would do well to choose Costa Rica for their procedures. Like the other destinations on this list, Costa Rica is best known for cosmetic and dental procedures, although it also welcomes patients for weight loss procedures, cancer treatments, and more.

Medical Tourism Insurance 

Whether you’re a medical tourist, a facilitator, employer, or hospital, we have insurance products that can help reduce your risk. Reach out today to learn more.

Medical Tourism in Latin America

Medical tourism is the practice of visiting a foreign country to receive healthcare, medical treatments, or surgery with the benefit of lower costs than can be found in the U.S. It is estimated that as many as 23 million Americans are expected to engage in medical tourism in the near future, and half of these people are likely to visit countries in Central and South America for their treatments.

Why Latin America?

The benefits of visiting Latin America for medical treatments are nearly unbelievable. The most obvious benefit is the low cost for services, but this is matched by the high quality of medical facilities, practitioners, and treatments. Many Latin American countries are ideal for American medical tourism because of their close proximity to the U.S. Because it is such a popular destination for medical tourism, Latin America’s medical facilities have to use cutting edge equipment and technology in order to meet the high standards of foreign medical tourists and keep their spot as a leading location for medical tourism.

Market Data Forecast reported in 2016 that the Latin American medical tourism market was worth USD 4.33 billion, and this is expected to grow at 18.9% CAGR to reach USD 10.30 billion by 2021.

Top services performed for medical tourists in Latin America include cancer treatments, chronic disease care, dental treatments, heart and bariatric surgeries, orthopedic treatments, cosmetic and plastic surgeries, rehabilitation programs, and eye care. These treatments and surgeries can see a 30% to 70% cut in medical expenses when compared to those in North America.

Some of the top countries for medical tourism in Latin America are Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil.


It is estimated that medical tourists visiting Mexico can save 40% to 60% on their medical bills. Many doctors and dentists in Mexico received training in the U.S. and are bilingual, making communication with English speaking patients easy and stress-free. In addition, several private American hospital chains own and run hospitals in Mexico, and there are two facilities in the country that are gold members of the Medical Tourism Association. The rate of savings combined with Mexico’s very close proximity to the neighboring U.S. make it an excellent option for medical tourism.

Costa Rica

Over 50,000 foreign patients travel to Costa Rica each year for healthcare, and a majority of that number are Americans. These medical tourists save between 45% and 65% on their procedures. Costa Rica’s healthcare system was actually ranked slightly above that of the U.S. by the World Health Organization. Due to the high quality of services, around 15% of all international tourists to Costa Rica come specially to receive medical care.


Brazil’s advanced healthcare system makes it a popular destination for medical tourism. With over 6,500 hospitals, Brazil has one of the largest healthcare systems in the world. It currently has over 60 facilities and programs accredited by the JCI (Joint Commission International), an organization that supports medical excellence in countries outside the U.S. Medical tourists can expect to save 30% to 70% on services performed at Brazilian institutions and will receive top quality care.

For someone visiting a foreign country specifically to benefit from less expensive medical treatment, it would be a disaster to be hit with unexpected charges related to the trip or procedure. Our medical tourism insurance provides coverage against any unforeseen circumstances that a patient traveling abroad may experience.

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