Yesterday was the day México celebrates Benito Juarez’s birthday, so all the government offices were closed. Today they were open so I thought I’d open my Google Translate app on my phone and see if I could get enrolled in Seguro Popular before the big medical insurance change rolls through Sinaloa. I’ve heard that several states have now taken residents off of the list of eligibility, so getting signed up now was a priority.
The Seguro Popular offices in Centro are in a building on Benito Juarez and Miguel Hidalgo. It’s at the top of the hill on Benito Juarez as you’re heading West from the mercado (the Sabalo Centro bus goes right past it). When you walk in the door there’s a very nice woman who speaks no English, but has excellent command of hand gestures! I showed her my google translate screen saying I wanted to enroll in Seguro Popular, and she directed me to go through a side door. Finding myself in the parking lot, I was just a little confused, until I looked around and saw the Seguro Popular sign over a door to my left!
Once in the Seguro Popular office proper, I was told to take a seat and wait my turn. No numbers to take, no screens to watch – people just keep track of their place in the proverbial line. When it was my turn, I went to the desk, sat down there, told the woman behind the desk that I wanted to enroll in Seguro Popular and handed her the copies of my documents that the website said to bring (passport, residency card, proof of address, and CURP). She did ask me a couple of questions. She wanted to know if I was working (if I was, I think I’d need to enroll in the other medical insurance, IMSS). She also asked what streets my apartment was between.
Type type type shuffle shuffle shuffle print print print. She had me sign three or four documents, then took one and stamped it twice. Handed it to me and told me that I need to show it to the hospital/doctor when I have medical treatment. That was it! It couldn’t have taken longer than 15 minutes, including the time I sat and waited for my turn! My insurance ‘cards’ are printed at the bottom of the page – just made a copy, cut them out, and put them in my wallet!
My Seguro Popular insurance is good for three years, so it’ll end a few months before I’m eligible for Medicare in the US. México’s medical insurance is in a state of reorganization right now, so I may have gotten enrolled just in the nick of time!
Later this week I have to pop in the INAPAM office to pick up my senior discount card – then I’ll have all the Méxican benefits my little heart desires! Ok, I do want a drivers license, just in case I want to rent a car and do a road trip – but I just renewed my Washington State drivers license, so I’m golden!
¡Gracias Seguro Popular por tu servicio!