Many people move to Costa Rica for health reasons. Some are suffering from stress and work-related conditions that often clear up after a few months of this country’s saner pace and beautiful environment. Many are drawn to the high quality medical care, which is extremely cheap if, as a resident, you become part of the country’s socialized medicine system, and is still quite a bargain if you opt to go the private route. Costa Rica spends a lot of money to keep its people healthy, and statistics reflect this commitment.
In 2010 over 46 million Americans were without health insurance coverage, and the number will increase every year. Costa Rica has made a commitment to provide health care to all of its residents, and even visitors can take advantage of the high quality, low cost care available here. For a small monthly fee (usually under $60) foreign residents can be a part of the public system, where everything from drugs to dentistry is included, and care is in public clinics and hospitals.
For a little more each month anyone (not just residents) can sign on with the INS, the state insurance provide, which allows you to choose your own doctor. International policies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield are accepted at the excellent private hospitals and clinics here. If you have no insurance and don't want to join with the public system here, you can pay out-of-pocket and spend about half of what you would in the U.S.
Costa Rica is an expats haven, taking advantage of their world class medial & education systems, democratic government, gorgeous tropical climate, diverse economy and of course the affordable real estate
The ones that top the list are Americans and Canadians. Currently, over 100,000 Americans and 20,000 Canadians live in Costa Rica.
Like the U.S., Canada’s baby boomers are reaching retirement, and with the depress world-wide economy, and living expenses getting higher many elderly Canadians are now looking toward Costa Rica. That scale may start to become more balanced for Canadians vs. U.S. citizens, due to some pending laws that some claim are, human rights violations against their own “elderly” citizens.
Canada’s Heartless Grandparent Scandal
Canada has announced that there are approximately “eleven million” people in Canada who are over the age of fifty. Many of these people are aging parents who want nothing more out of life than to live independently (in something as simple as a basement apartment or Granny suite) in the home of adult child “and with the grandchildren” for the balance of their lives.
Although this desire to live with family sounds like a very simple request, in some parts of Canada it now has become illegal. Many municipal governments have made the decision to capitalize on this situation, and are demanding that elderly family members pay exorbitant fees for permission to live with family.
For example: In the City of Hamilton Ontario elderly parents who wish to live independently in the home of an adult child must produce a non-refundable application fee of $5,770. Now, adding insult to misery, if the application is accepted, the adult child who provides this accommodation to his or her parents is punished with a property tax increase, which will last as long as he or she owns the home, even after your parent(s) have died.
This type of scam is also operated in Cambridge Ontario, with fees being approximately $4,000.
Canada has always boasts a fantastic human rights reputation around the world, and yet their municipal governments has chosen to exploit the needs of seniors.
This has been over the years some government officials have created bi-laws and regulations which give them full power to dictate home owners, who can live within the confines of your own home and force you to pay extra for your aging parents to live in your home with these, “non-refundable application fees”, or the “increase in property taxes”
The other thing that is plaguing the seniors is the socialistic health care systems that requires months to see a doctor and even when one gets an appointment, it requires hours waiting in overly crowded waiting rooms.
With the above said, and the need for lower living, health, and housing costs, Costa Rica may be on the threshold of a huge immigration increase of Canadians.
Article contribution by John Newton, who is moving to Costa Rica.