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Costa Rica: health insurance

Monday, August 6, 2012

Since 2010, private companies have had the right to sell insurance to the public. Now, problems in Costa Rica’s public finances are creating a market in the health sector.

For over half a century, Costa Ricans have had access to medical services, mainly financed employers, who contribute on behalf of workers. But following recent increases in the size and cost of the public sector, the government – Costa Rica’s biggest employer - has not paid all of its contributions to the social security system, which means that public health services often lack resources to meet the demand.

In these circumstances, insurance companies, together with private medical services, could design policies, which at a reasonable price offer coverage for diagnostic services, and even basic treatment, giving Costa Ricans an alternative to long delays and - sometimes - collapsing facilities.