Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espa´┐Żol English
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
  Nosara Animal Care
  Nosara Info
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
  Nosara Civic Association

Expats Need Accurate Insurance Information for Emergency Medical Services

By Mary Smathers
Nosara Citizen Journalist

Photo by Adam Dietrich
The Red Cross in Nosara is the only medical ground transportation that expats have but Red Cross services are limited.

Sixty expatriate residents from the Nosara area attended an Emergency Medical Services Information meeting sponsored by private Doctors Mauricio Jimenez and Alejandro Gutierrez at Marlin Bill’s on Tuesday, February 12th.  The presentation was organized by Jimenez and 10 year resident Susan Loudenslager, who said this was a first time event.  

Jimenez explained the motivation for organizing the meeting.  “Dr. Alejandro and I have had a lot of issues with insurance companies after people have had emergencies.   But services have to be paid for, of course,” he said.  “Our interest is in making it easier for everyone,” to get the care they need and not have to hassle with the insurance company later, Jimenez said. 

At the meeting, Jimenez presented a basic overview of medical care in Costa Rica.  All employed citizens receive care through the Caja government based social security and medical care system.  Expats must access private doctors and hospitals and won’t be served at a government hospital, such as the one in Nicoya, unless it is an extreme emergency.  

For an expat to get emergency care or air evacuation services, Jimenez told the group, they need to have at least one of two things available during the emergency—cash or a credit card with greater than $1,500 available.   Most North American and European insurance companies require at least 48 hours for approval of any service, he said.  “You will have to pay up front for the service and you may or may not get reimbursed later,” Jimenez explained. 

After the trauma, in order to be able to get reimbursed from a medical plan, expatriates will need either:  an international medical care plan; or a home country plan with airlift coverage included; or coverage from INS or other Costa Rican based insurance companies which includes airlift and emergency care.   In response to questions, Jimenez outlined that emergency air transport could cost up to $5,000 for a plane or $8,000 for helicopter, depending on the amount of specialized equipment and personnel required.

Jimenez stated that he, Gutierrez, and Dr. Kattia Porras, the other local private doctor, have a network of service providers in the hospitals and air transport companies.  “Our estimated time to get you to a hospital in San Jose via air transport in the event of an extreme emergency is 1 ½ hours after we get the call,” said Jimenez.  “The most important thing is to call one of us immediately if there is an injury or trauma.  Severe broken bones, heart attacks or major car accident injuries will need to be transported out of Nosara,” he said. 

Jimenez and Gutierrez at Paradise Medical Services are developing a database of all local residents who wish to have their basic medical history, emergency contact and insurance information on file with a local provider. 
“The database was Susan’s idea and we think it is a good one,” said Jimenez. 

“The biggest thing everyone needs to know”, Loudenslager emphasized, “is they need to look into their insurance coverage and get all the information ahead of time. Before an emergency.”

In addition to the Paradise Medical Services doctors in Guiones and Dr. Porras, located on the Del Mar Academy road, the only other local care option for non citizens is the Red Cross, next to the airport. The Red Cross can provide basic care for citizens, residents and visitors, and only accepts donations.  The Red Cross also operates the only ambulance in the Nosara area but it includes only basic instruments and equipment.   “They do not have heart monitors,” Jimenez said.

Medical Contacts Information: see attached info sheet handed out at the meeting.


More health news

Cacao: The“Food of the Gods”

“Every study on chocolate points to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us,” noted David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate and world’s premier raw foodist. 

Fast Food Threatens Traditional Diet in Nicoya’s Blue Zone

Hamburgers, pizza, fried chicken and hot dogs.  What they all have in common, in addition to being popular foods, is that they all possess harmful short-term and long-term effects in the health of those who consume them often. 

Is it True Love...or Not?

We see it over and over again on the big screen. One person meets the other and just like that, they fall in love.  This may appeal for entertainment purposes but passive love at first sight is more often a sign of infatuation or strong attraction.

8 Keys to Building Strong Immunity

  1. Eat Fresh Greens: When you crave greens daily you know you’re in a good place. Steamed chard or kale or arugula is a treat with some quinoa and mild crumbled cheese. Add an apple and make green juice with spinach, cucumber and celery your go-to drink.

Exchange Massages for Valentine’s Day

We see it over and over again on the big screen. One person meets the other and just like that, they fall in love.  This may appeal for entertainment purposes but passive love at first sight is more often a sign of infatuation or strong attraction.


Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara