As a Panamanian citizen, I am entitled to Panama Social Security and have paid into this program for many years. I was always under the impression that this coverage was not available to pensionados and members of the Expat community. Although he has moved back to Costa Rica, my friend Allen McDonald and his family were able obtain this inexpensive and valuable protection.
Here are his suggestions…
Simply take a bi-lingual speaker and your Turista Pensionado card ( or similar qualifying residential identification documentation, based on investor status, etc. ) w/U when U apply.
Apply at the Seguro Social office nearest you, not the clinic. In some instances
they may have contiguous offices in the same building, yet not usually.
There is no age limit nor limitations because of pre-existing conditions. Your approval is based on your current health condition, not on the way it used to be. What a concept !
You will be given a form at the SS office to take to the SS clinic. Go there. Get an appointment there to see a doctor. For a fee of 50¢, a doctor will examine you, take your vital signs, etc. and give you forms for various medical tests – blood tests, urinalysis, etc. Have the tests performed there at the clinic that same day. Pick up the test results when they are ready and make an appointment to see the same doctor that you saw initially for your preliminary examination; another 50¢ charge. There is no charge for future appointments, if you are approved for coverage. If he approves you for coverage, you will be given a form stating that fact. Take the form to the SS office and make your initial monthly payment. Successive monthly payments can be made at that same office.
It took about six months for formal approval to arrive from Panamá’s federal government’s Panamá City office for us. Formal approval requires an actual act of the Panamá Congress. However, coverage began and medical service was available before these the formal approval documentation arrived from Panamá City, as soon as we made our initial monthly payment.
That’s about as clear and concise as I can be about the process at the moment. Hope this helps my fellow expatriates ( not ex-patriots, although they also may be latent qualifiers for the plan, if they are also registered Panamá residents ).
Allen McDonald, El Galloviejo®
If any of my readers have had success with this process, please email me with your experience….Kevin