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Excellent International Health Insurance coverage is available to protect you in the Republic of Panama. Injury or illness in a country far from home can be a very scary experience. If you are without proper health insurance or cannot demonstrate liquidity to a local hospital, it can be the difference between life and death. Expats…..lying on a gurney in a hallway, have DIED waiting for treatment, while proof of ability to pay is confirmed.

Check the exclusions in your current HOME COUNTRY health policy to make sure you are covered outside their borders. In case of an emergency in Panama, note the telephone #’s to call for coordination of benefits, usually found on the back of your insurance ID card. Most USA issued PPO plans will only protect you for a limited time (30 days) for emergencies or while on a Cruise ship/organized tour………


Hospitals, physicians and medical facilities in Panama are excellent. Many doctors have been trained in the USA, Canada or Europe and most speak English. Private hospitals and medical professionals in Panama expect to be paid and will require some guarantee of payment before treatment. It is not uncommon for medical care to be denied by private facilities. Without financial resources or proper coverage, you may find yourself transferred from their emergency room to a Panama government facility. The bank robber with a cedula, bleeding from gunshot wounds will have priority over your treatment in the Panama Govt. subsidized hospitals. Do you really want to depend upon the generosity of the Panamanian taxpayer to provide you with health care?

While some major health insurance carriers in the USA, Canada and Europe may provide coverage for emergencies while traveling, this may not apply if you change permanent residence/domicile to the Republic of Panama. Maintaining a USA P.O. Box may not be sufficient to keep your USA coverage valid. Unfortunately, you may discover this when the Panama hospitals calls your USA PPO to coordinate benefits. Your claims adjuster in the USA is going to want a clear explanation of why you are being treated in a Panama hospital and why he should have to pay for it!

The US Social Security Medicare program does NOT provide coverage for medical costs outside the USA. Canada and most other countries with national health care systems have similar restrictions when changing domicile to Panama. Local Panama insurance carriers will only accept applications for medical insurance coverage to age 62. With any type of serious preexisting conditions this may be difficult to acquire (yes, taking medication for high cholesterol and high blood pressure are considered SERIOUS preexisting conditions) . Over 60% of the applications (most of my clients are age 50+ with some preexisting conditions) I submit to local companies are rejected for coverage.

If you qualify, I can help you obtain lifetime health insurance with an very experienced international company. This coverage will be accepted by local doctors and recognized by all Panama hospitals.

After 20 years of continuous coverage with a large Panama health insurance company, I switched to BUPA (available directly from Miami). Arbitrary deductible and rate increases by the local carrier and a reduction in coverage (50%) at age 62, convinced me to make the move.

It is now my strategy to carry the BUPA Latin America Secure policy with $2,000,000.00 yearly catastrophic coverage and a high deductible ($5,000/yr). I will pay for doctor visits, lab and medicine out of pocket and only submit claims for serious medical situations above $5,000. Elective surgery must be performed in Latin America or USA and emergencies are covered ANYWHERE in the world.

If you would like to receive a customized quote, please send an email to call 6674-1063 or contact my associate Gonzalo de la Guardia 6671-3357

Panama Kevin