Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The IMSS Experience

Hola! What a beautiful full moon last night here in Alamos. I hope you experienced a scenic full moon wherever you live. Our days are so long now. The light is coming before five am and staying until almost seven pm. All of the trees are getting their baby new shoots and everything is in bloom. One of Senor's orange trees is covered in hundreds of tiny white flowers and the air is very sweet.
Below is a photo of the old mesquite tree. Last year we were worried about it, but it has come back, rich in many colors of green. It is so healthy and such an experience to stand under it and watch the butterflies drift in and out of its long lacy branches.
I seem to recall that I was going to tell you about our IMSS experience. IMSS is the Mexican medical plan for Mexican homeowners and laborers. There is a seperate medical plan for government workers, ISTTE. I might be off an acronym in there, but no problems, we aren't going to talk about that one.

Below is a photo of the IMSS, also called Seguro, or social security, building in Navajoa.
When we moved to Mexico, we gave up our health insurance in the United States. We are not old enough for Social Security or Medicare, but we wanted something. A great deal of research told us that in Mexico, we would either want IMSS or to pay out of pocket should we need anything. We chose IMSS.

Sometimes, these things can be difficult to research. Here is a prime example. Before we ever came to Sonora, I read a blog that said the highway from Nogales to Navajoa (where the road turns off and up into the mountains and Alamos), was a four lane, well lighted highway the whole way. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth.
So when I begin research on the topic we are interested in, I pretty much gather up all the information, throw alot out, keep some and then, hope for the best.

I talked to several folks who have IMSS before we went to the building to apply. All of them said something different. I am not going to bore you with all of those details.
I gathered every bit of our paperwork and made two copies of everything.
The following is what we needed in January, 2009, to first apply:
2 photocopies of the entire passport for each of us.
2 photocopies of the FM3 for each of us.
2 photcopies of our marraige certificate.
2 copies of one paid utility bill.
2 passport size photos of each of us.

We spent alot of time at several different windows at IMSS last year, finally went around the corner to pay at the bank, received a stamped paper that showed we could have medical care with restrictions (only basic colds, shots, flus and exams would be covered) and went home.

This January, 2010, we went to reapply. Before we went we were told by a man that he had been there the same week and it took over 8 hours to complete his renewal. We were a little concerned. The day before we went a woman told me she had just been there and the computer was down. She waited 5 hours and then was told she had to return the next day. Once she did complete her renewal, she was stamped with retstrictions (research says it is not until your third renewal that you are without restrictions).

At IMSS, we had the above things available, but they did not care to see anything other than the passports and the FM3's. We spent half an hour at several different windows, walked around the corner to the bank and paid $4,267.60 pesos (that is less than $200 USD dollars each), received our papers stamped SIN restrictions (with no restrictions) and went home.
So, that is pretty much it. No two people seem to ever have the same experience in the same place.

So, I am going to bake a pecan butter cream cake this afternoon. Doesn't that sound awesome? My dad shipped several pounds of his freshly shelled pecans to Colorado, where I picked them up and then brought them back home. Sonora actually has its own fair share of pecan trees, but there is nothing like a good Texas pecan. I will let you know how it turns out!
Adios! Linda Lou


Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

I should clarify one thing. IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) is available for Mexican and foreign homeowners and laborers. adios! LL

Jacqui said...

We also had a huge, bright moon last night, but a clear night means time to put the fire on.

We have also had to look into medical cover in Spain. We get cover for upto 2 years from the UK when we first moved here but that has run out. To join the Spanish system is over €200 per month so we have gone for a private medical policy whcih gives basic cover for €60 per month each. We have to hope we don;t get anything serious until we are much older and qualify for state help!

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