It is easy to see the appeal of Nicaragua as a full-time residence, a vacation spot or the ultimate place for retirement. An amazing climate throughout the year, unending cultural and recreational opportunities, affordable real estate and a low cost of living, when added to the beaches and jungles, make Nicaragua an unparalleled destination.
However, many individuals planning for their retirement make assumptions about medical care in Nicaragua that simply aren’t true. Medical facilities are world-class, the language barrier is virtually nonexistent and prices may be far, far cheaper than what you're used to back home.
Take a closer look at some of the most surprising facts about medical care for retirees in Nicaragua.
Costs of Healthcare are Exceptionally Low
The biggest and most positive surprise that retirees are excited to discover is that the cost of most medical care in Nicaragua is very low. A typical visit to the doctor for a checkup or a basic prescription might run around $30.
If you have to spend the night at a hospital for an outpatient procedure, it would still be surprising for the cost to be much over $100. This is not just your copay, but the total cost of the procedure and the medical attention.
If you're used to paying thousands of dollars annually for basic medical care, this could result in substantial savings for virtually equal standards of care.
Most Medical Professionals Speak English Fluently
Many retirees considering life in Nicaragua are worried that medical professionals will only speak Spanish, creating a language barrier. Thankfully, that is very rarely the case. Virtually all doctors, surgeons and advanced medical professionals speak English fluently.
In fact, many of them earned a degree or an advanced qualification overseas at English-speaking universities and medical schools. Nurses and healthcare administrators also typically speak English, helping you feel comfortable when discussing medical issues.
Emergency Medical Transportation is Readily Available
There is also a fear among some potential residents that Nicaragua doesn't have the infrastructure necessary to provide emergency medical transportation. In all but the most rural areas, ambulances are available immediately to take patients to hospitals and treatment facilities. In the event that a retiree wishes to return to their home country for emergency treatment, air evacuation is readily available.
Topnotch Hospitals Handle Medical Tourism
Many of the hospitals in Nicaragua, notably those in the city of Managua like the Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital and the Bautista Hospital, are among the best in the world. Many are even in the process of being recognized by American medical governing bodies.
In addition, medical tourism brings in many patients from around the world who want world-class care with affordable price tags. Knowing that incredible medical facilities are right at your doorstep makes many retirees feel more comfortable picking Nicaragua as their new home.
American Expats Have IRS Mandates Waived
If you're an American citizen, you might be aware of the IRS mandate requiring all citizens to have health insurance or pay a fee, which will rise over time. However, the IRS has stipulated that those living overseas in places like Nicaragua are exempt from this requirement, and any related fees or fines will be completely waived.
The medical infrastructure and healthcare options in Nicaragua are often far better than many people expect. In addition to world-class hospitals, an abundance of medical facilities and physicians who speak fluent English, the cost of this exceptional care is very affordable.