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Costa Rica Mandatory Registration with Social Security For Residency

 Costa Rica Mandatory Registration with Social Security For Residency

Any foreign resident in Costa Rica that wants to obtain or renew their legal resident status must provide ccssproof that they are covered by the medical insurance system of the Costa Rica Social Security Administration referred to locally as the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social – CCSS.

This legal requirement applies to any category of residency either temporary or permanent that is granted under the Costa Rican Immigration Law.

What is the process for applying for Social Security medical coverage in Costa Rica. It depends if your are legally working in Costa Rica or retired. I will review the options for you below.

1.  Temporary Residency Categories such as Pensionado, Rentista or Investor.

If you are applying for residency under the Pensionado (Retirement) or Rentista (Income Based) or Investor (Inversionistas) Immigration categories you will generally have to apply under the “Self Insured” (Asegurado Voluntario) guidelines of the Social Security Administration (CAJA). The self insured program is a classification for individuals and their dependents that legally reside in Costa Rica but do not generate income from local Costa Rica sources. The Department of Immigration and the Social Security Administration have exchanged directives to establish the basis for the cost of this insurance. The amount that will be charged is a percentage (%) of the amount of income that you declared in your residency application. The minimum basis would be $1,000 for Pensionado (Retirement) status and $2,500 for Rentista (Income Based) since these monthly incomes are the minimum requirements to qualify for those residency categories.  For Investor Status (Inversionista) since the category is based upon an investment as opposed to a monthly income the CAJA has been using the same criteria as Rentista for Investor status i.e. it will use $2,500 as the minimum basis for this category.   Keep in mind that these are all the minimums for establishing the monthly payment.  If you show up with documentation showing that you receive more than that they they may use that as the basis so be sure you get all your paperwork in order before you show up to any CAJA office to register for the medical insurance.   We have seen procedures vary from one CAJA office to the next.   Generally the applicant must apply at the CAJA office closest to their place of residence.  You will need to provide a utility receipt to demonstrate your domicile for CAJA purposes.

The cost of the insurance for the self insured option is based on the following sliding scale. Generally for residency purposes they only apply the health coverage portion and waive the disability and death portion.  As part of the application process generally an interview is conducted to determine the household income and then fix the basis for your monthly payment.

The sliding scale is as follows:

From $343.50 to $1,060.99 5.35%
From $1,060.99 to $2,121.98 6.24%
From $2,121.98 to $3,182.97 8.02%
Above $3,182.97 10.69%

In order to start the process you first need to have some patience ! If there is a regional Social Security Administration office in your area then you may start the process at that office. The telephone numbers for the are set forth at the end of this article. On occasion the regional office has required that the applicant first obtain a health card from the local clinic or EBAIS center in your local jurisdiction. To prove your place of residence take with you an electric or water bill for the house or a copy of the lease agreement if renting. Either way before you start the process you must have been approved by the Department of Immigration for residency and produce a copy of the final resolution issued by the Department of  Immigration approving the residency.   

The final approval of your social security insurance application must be done at any of the regional offices of the CCSS. The approval generally requires a personal interview with a social security administration officer who will evaluate your information, income, age and then set the percentage that you must pay according to the sliding scale indicated above. The primary applicant will be the person that was the primary applicant on the immigration application.  The Social Security Administration allows a dependent spouse to be listed on the same insurance as the primary applicant.   To insure a spouse of a primary applicant the CAJA has been requesting a copy of the Apostilled marriage certificate.  As such, be sure to keep a copy of the marriage certificate you used for residency purposes since you may need again to process the CAJA registration.

If you are a permanent resident and are working in Costa Rica then your process is much simpler since you can be included on the social security payroll account of your Employer. Once the employer adds you to the payroll account you will receive a receipt of registration referred to locally as the “orden patronal”. If you operate your own business and are authorized to work in Costa Rica your company can register with the Costa Rica social security department and then include yourself as part of the payroll account.

Each applicant will have a different set of circumstances as such the determinations are evaluated on a case by case basis by the Social Security administration.

The following is a list of the Regional Offices of the Social Security Administration – CCSS with telephone numbers.

Contact Information

1 Sucursal 27 de Abril 2658-0436 2658-0126 Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
2 Sucursal Bri-brí 2756-8003 Talamanca, Limón
3 Sucursal Cariari 2767-7879 Cariari, Limón
4 Sucursal de Abangares 2662-0236 2662-0661 Abangares, Guanacaste
5 Sucursal de Acosta 2410-0176 2410-1362 San José
6 Sucursal de Alajuela 2440-2290 2440-1941 Alajuela
7 Sucursal de Alfaro Ruiz 2463-3366 2463-1453 Alfaro Ruiz, Alajuela
8 Sucursal de Atenas 2446-5466 2446-8909 Atenas, Alajuela
9 Sucursal de Bataan 2718-7621 Bataan, Limón
10 Sucursal de Buenos Aires 2730-0016 2730-1263 Buenos Aires, Perez Zeledón
11 Sucursal de Cañas 2669-0616 2669-1747 Cañas, Guanacaste
12 Sucursal de Cartago 2552-5560 2552-7023 Cartago
13 Sucursal de Chomes 2638-8033 2638-8056 Chomes, Puntarenas
14 Sucursal de Ciudad Colón 2249-2800 2249-1819 San José
15 Sucursal de Ciudad Cortés 2788-8106 Puntarenas
16 Sucursal de Ciudad Neily 2783-3196 2783-5872 Puntarenas
17 Sucursal de Ciudad Quesada 2460-0382 2460-1190 San Carlos, Alajuela
18 Sucursal de Cóbano 2642-1017 Puntarenas
19 Sucursal de Cot 2536-7714 Cartago
20 Sucursal de Desamparados 2250-2373 2219-6905 San José
21 Sucursal de Esparza 2635-0055 2636-4725 Puntarenas
22 Sucursal de Filadelfia 2688-8162 2688-8500 Guanacaste
23 Sucursal de Garabito 2643-2834 2643-3552 Puntarenas
24 Sucursal de Golfito 2775-0262 2775-1429 Puntarenas
25 Sucursal de Grecia 2494-1001 2494-2852 Grecia, Alajuela
26 Sucursal de Guácimo 2716-6441 2716-6293 Limón
27 Sucursal de Guadalupe 2224-5418 2283-3639 Guadalupe, San José
28 Sucursal de Guápiles 2710-6125 Guápiles, Limón
29 Sucursal de Guatuso 2464-1218 Alajuela
30 Sucursal de Heredia 2261-4600 2561-0152 Heredia

31 Sucursal de Hojancha 2659-9344 2659-9144 Guanacaste
32 Sucursal de Jicaral 2650-0727 2650-0070 Puntarenas
33 Sucursal de La Cruz 2679-9005 Guanacaste
34 Sucursal de la Fortuna Valle de la Estrella 2759-0027 Limón
35 Sucursal de La Unión 2279-1832 2279-9496 Tres Ríos, Cartago
36 Sucursal de Liberia 2666-0264 2666-4727 Liberia, Guanacaste
37 Sucursal de Limón 2758-0266 2758-1905 Limón
38 Sucursal de Los Chiles 2471-1094 Los Chiles, San Carlos
39 Sucursal de Miramar 2639-9871 2639-9226 Miramar Puntarenas
40 Sucursal de Monteverde 2645-5778 2645-5076 Monteverde
41 Sucursal de Nandayure 2657-7311 2657-7147 Nandayure, Guanacaste
42 Sucursal de Naranjo 2450-0032 2451-3344 Naranjo, Alajuela
43 Sucursal de Nicoya 2685-5383 2686-6048 Nicoya, Guanacaste
44 Sucursal de Nuevo Arenal 2694-4650 2694-4173 Nuevo Arenal, San Carlos
45 Sucursal de Orotina 2428-8030 Puntarenas
46 Sucursal de Palmar Norte 2786-6253 2786-6533 Puntarenas
47 Sucursal de Palmares 2452-0143 2453-5451 Palmares, Alajuela
48 Sucursal de Paquera 2641-0120 Paquera, Puntarenas
49 Sucursal de Paraíso 2574-7344 2574-5842 Paraíso, Cartago
50 Sucursal de Parrita 2779-9159 2779-9910 Parrita, Puntarenas
51 Sucursal de Pérez Zeledón 2771-3036 2771-3825 San José
52 Sucursal de Puerto Jiménez 2735-5250 Puntarenas
53 Sucursal de Puntarenas 2661-0022 2661-0523 Puntarenas
54 Sucursal de Puriscal 2416-4284 2416-6284 San José
55 Sucursal de Quepos 2777-0033 2777-0729 Puntarenas
56 Sucursal de Roxana 2763-3035 2763-2318 Pococi Limon
57 Sucursal de San Joaquín de Flores 2265-6005 2265-4548 San Joaquín, Heredia
58 Sucursal de San Marcos Tarrazú 2546-6111 San José
59 Sucursal de San Pedro Poás 2448-5073 Alajuela
60 Sucursal de San Rafael 2237-7243 2262-5361 Alajuela

61 Sucursal de San Rafael 2237-7243 Heredia
62 Sucursal de San Ramón 2445-5420 2447-6060 San Ramón , Alajuela
63 Sucursal de San Vito 2773-3126 2773-3420 Puntarenas
64 Sucursal de Santa Cruz 2680-0440 2680-1104 Guanacaste
65 Sucursal de Santa Elena 2544-0002 Desamparados, San José
66 Sucursal de Santo Domingo 2244-1626 2244-5820 Santo Domingo, Heredia
67 Sucursal de Siquirres 2768-9422 2768-8122 Limón
68 Sucursal de Tarrazú 2685-5383 2686-6048 San José
69 Sucursal de Tilarán 2695-5114 2695-6260 Tilarán, Guanacaste
70 Sucursal de Turrialba 2556-0375 2556-4775 Cartago
71 Sucursal de Upala 2470-0083 2470-0683 Alajuela
72 Sucursal de Valverde Vega 2454-1621 2454-4022 Puntarenas
73 Sucursal el Carmen de Siquirres 2769-1260 Limón
74 Sucursal La Cuesta 2732-2294 Puntarenas
75 Sucursal La Fortuna 2479-8086 2476-9099 San Carlos, Alajuela
76 Sucursal La Perla 2769-8274 Limón
77 Sucursal Pacayas 2534-4090 Cartago
78 Sucursal Puerto Viejo Sarapiquí 2766-6181 Limón
79 Sucursal Río Frío 2764-4075 Limón
80 Sucursal Sixaola 2754-2010 2754-1016 Limón
81 Sucursal Ticabán 2762-5436 Limón
82 Sucursalde Bagaces 2671-1138 2671-1401 Bagaces, Guanacaste

Hi. This is Roger Petersen. Welcome to the Advantage Network. Don't miss out on important legal changes or events occurring in Costa Rica. Sign up for the Subscriber Advantage Network for free.

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