Even though health care costs are cheap in Ecuador, Coopera's Cuenca medical insurance and dental insurance lower your costs even more.
Coopera Credit Union (Coopera Ltda. Cooperativa de ahorro y crédito) is based just outside of Cuenca, in San Joaquín.
In addition to being a large financial institution in Azuay and Guayas provinces in the south of Ecuador, Coopera is a food co-op.
And it also offers medical insurance and dental insurance to its members. Unless you're in perfect health, it would be foolish to pass up this insurance. Why? Because of the cost...
$2.63 per month, per person
You can have up to three people on one plan. The cost for three is $8.16, or $2.72 per person.
Your coverage for the in-house medical and dental coverage begins immediately upon signing your papers in San Joaquín, or at the branch across from Feria Libre. In fact, you could go directly to the doctor or dentist at the San Joaquín head office for treatment after papers are signed.
All medical visits to the Coopera doctor are $2. And all dental visits to the Coopera dentist (for regular treatments like fillings, cleanings, etc.) are $2.
And if you're under 70, your $2.63 per month includes a $1,500 life insurance policy, and a $600 burial policy.
If you need to see a medical specialist (for example, a cardiologist), the Coopera doctor will recommend one, or you can visit your own. Your Cuenca medical insurance will cover 80% of the first $400 in specialist costs (in other words, Coopera will reimburse you for up to $320).
Surgery costs are covered for 70% (maximum coverage of $280, which is 70% of $400), while prescription drugs are covered for 80% (maximum coverage of $320, which is 80% of $400).
At this time, dental specialist work (crowns, periodontal work, braces, etc.) is not covered by the insurance. But the dentist will refer you to a fully qualified dentist with inexpensive rates.
For in-house medical and dental treatments, jump in a bus or taxi and head out to San Joaquin, where the Coopera head office is. The doctor and dentist have complete offices there.
At this time, you can't make an appointment, so be prepared to wait a bit before having your treatment.
When you're done, pay the doctor or dentist $2 and head home.
It's that simple.
You must have an account at Coopera, with sufficient funds in it to withdraw the $2.63 per month per person premium. (They only allow you to withdraw from account whatever the total is less $20, so that you always have enough to cover a month or two of premiums.)
For outside consultations, surgeries, and prescriptions, there are waiting periods before the coverage begins. For consultations, there's a two month waiting period. For prescriptions, there's a one month waiting period. Go to Coopera's pharmacy in San Joaquin and the discount is applied right there. No worrying about obtaining a reimbursement.
To receive reimbursement for any outside consultation, surgery or prescription, you must have a factura. A factura is like a receipt, but it has your name and cédula or passport number on it. Without a factura, you will not be reimbursed by Coopera.
Coopera's Cuenca medical insurance and dental insurance can easily reduce your health care costs, especially if you have any medical conditions, or have bad teeth.
Combine it with a full health care insurance policy to cover a large portion of the deductible. The best of both worlds!
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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.
When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!