If you decide to become a resident in Peru, you’ll need health insurance. Peru has very good private clinics but its public health system didn’t keep up with the economic growth and progress the country has made in recent years. The coronavirus pandemic showed this very clearly. If you settle in Peru with a work visa, you’ll automatically pay 9% of your monthly salary as a contribution to the public ESSalud system.
However, we recommend procuring private health insurance. There are international insurance companies such as Cigna Global which offer international healthcare for ex-pats but if you intend to spend 10 – 12 months a year in Peru, choosing a plan with MAPFRE is much more affordable and offers the same benefits. MAPFRE is a Spanish insurance company with branches in almost all Latin American and quite a few other countries around the globe. It doesn’t only offer health insurance policies but also deals with life insurances and insurances for vehicles, for example.
We asked Mónica Deza M., an insurance agent with more than 30 years of experience, to give us all the information a new resident in Peru needs if they want to procure health insurance with MAPFRE. If you have more questions or would like to have a personalized offer, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you give us a short overview of the plans MAPFRE offers?
Mapfre offers eight health insurance plans. Seven of them include only coverage within Peru and one includes international coverage. They differ by the amount covered and by the benefits which are included. If you would like to have health insurance with Mapfre, it’s best to contact the company directly or get in touch with an insurance agent to find the solution which fits your requirements best. Prices vary but ex-pats normally find all plans very affordable compared to what they would pay in their country of origin.
Is it possible to get health insurance with MAPFRE before being granted a temporary or permanent residence permit for Peru?
You can start your health insurance with Mapfre as soon as you’ve arrived in Peru. In that case, we will register you with your passport and once you obtain your residency permit and carné de extranjería, we’ll update the information. As far as coverage or conditions are concerned, there’s absolutely no difference between Peruvian citizens or foreigners with or without residence permit. It all depends on the plan you choose.
What’s the minimum duration of a contract with MAPFRE?
When you decide to get health insurance with Mapfre, you will close a contract for at least 12 months. If you don’t cancel your contract at least three months before it ends, it will automatically be renewed for another 12 month. After the first 12 months, you can cancel your contract monthly with a 30 days’ notice.
How do payments work? Is it possible to pay my premiums without having a Peruvian bank account?
Peruvian citizens normally pay their premiums by direct debit. However, it is no problem when you don’t have a Peruvian bank account yet or would rather use a debit or credit card from your home country. Once your health insurance contract is closed, due payments are shown in your client’s area on the Mapfre website and you can easily pay. It is also possible to go to a bank in Peru and pay your premium cash. Just be aware that the bank will charge you a commission.
Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly or yearly in advance. The monthly option normally results in higher premiums but sometimes, Mapfre has promotions where this is not the case.
Will MAPFRE cover me when I go on a holiday and want to spend some time in my country of origin?
It depends on the plan you choose. Trébol Salud and Trébol Farmapfre include emergency treatment abroad, covering a maximum of USD 15,000. You would have to advance the money and would be reimbursed when returning to Peru. However, we recommend buying additional travel health insurance before going abroad. Just with the plan Previsor de Salud, this is not necessary as it also covers you internationally.
After closing the contract, how long do I have to wait before I can go to a doctor or a clinic?
The waiting time is 30 days for regular treatments. However, if you have an accident or there’s another emergency, the coverage starts from day 1 after signing the contract.
Is dental care included or does MAPFRE offer additional dental care plans?
As far as dental care is concerned, your health insurance plan will cover necessary curative dental treatment but not esthetic treatment. Mapfre offers additional dental care plans according to your needs.
Can I choose the doctor or clinic I want to go to?
Mapfre will provide a list of clinics which you can choose from. Those clinics are situated all over Peru. However, as almost 30% of the Peruvian population lives in Lima/Callao, you will find a respectively large number of clinics in the capital.
Not all doctors at a given clinic will work with Mapfre but when you call the clinic and specify your needs, they will assign you a doctor.
How can I make appointments?
If you want to make an appointment, just contact one of the clinics from the list Mapfre provided. You’ll need to bring your identification when you have the appointment. So when you closed your Mapfre contract with your passport number, you’ll need to bring your passport. As mentioned before, you can easily change your identification document once you have obtained your carné de extranjería.
If you need a doctor to come to your house, you can request this service by calling 213-3333 (Lima) or 0801-1-1133 (Provincias).
Do I have to pay all costs myself first and does MAPFRE reimburse me or does the clinic or doctor bill MAPFRE directly?
In most of the cases, you’ll pay just the deductible (on average USD 10 – 15 per appointment) and the doctor will balance the remaining sum directly with Mapfre. In some cases, the doctor will invoice you and Mapfre will reimburse you minus the applicable deductable.