Healthcare in Costa Rica
The health care in Costa Rica is excellent and you have a choice between public health care known as the CAJA or you can purchase private health insurance. As a Costa Rica resident you are required to buy into the public health care the CAJA, if you choose you can visit private healthcare facilities but you will need to pay out-of-pocket unless you have private health insurance.
The CAJA does offer excellent care but can be very crowded as this is what most Costa Ricans use. Sometimes for non urgent appointments or procedures you may have to wait on an appointment. The CAJA does focus on preventive health care and the try to catch things before they become a problem. When you visit the clinic in the beginning of the year they will give you the paperwork to make various appointments for the year. You will be able to make your appointment for lab work, x-rays, electrocardiogram, eyes, and any other appointments you may need. There are times that you may not want to wait on the CAJA and you see a private doctor or go to a private facility but the cost is reasonable even with out private insurance.
There are many excellent private clinics and facilities to choose from such as CIMA Hospital in Escazu, Hospital La Catolica in San Jose – Guadalupe, and Clinica Biblica in San Jose these are state of the art medical facilities in the San Jose area. Cima and Clinica Biblica have satellite hospitals in Liberia that is convenient for those in the beach communities of Tamarindo and Flamingo. CIMA has agreements with the U.S. Veterans Administration and affiliations with the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Even if you pay for private healthcare out-of-pocket it is a fraction of what the same healthcare would cost in the U.S.