Costa Rica essentially has two medical insurance programs. The basic program, known as the Caja, provides 100% coverage for all medical procedures and prescription drugs, through the public hospital and clinic system, in various locations throughout Costa Rica. Under this coverage, you will be assigned a doctor on an available ‘first come, first served’ basis, and long waits may be experienced, for non-emergency medical attention. Premiums are generally lower for this coverage, and are the coverage that the majority of Costa Ricans are subscribed to.
The second medical insurance program is a private medical insurance coverage purchased from the either the National Insurance Institute (I.N.S.) or any of the other authorized private insurance companies. Insurance premiums are based on age, a medical examination, and a disclosure statement detailing your prior medical history must be completed. Insurance coverage may be denied for pre-existing medical conditions. Under this coverage, medical treatment is dispensed through a number of private clinics and hospitals in Costa Rica.