da1afd_f6a8a2827cfc499a872d40fc314e1dcb~mv2 Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
Hospital Fundaciòn San Vicente in Llanogrande is ranked among the top 20 hospitals in Latin America. It’s 20 minutes from home and will be our go-to if we ever need hospitalization or emergency care.

January 2024 update: We have learned from our attorney that new expats who are awarded the “M” (for Migrant) visa are no longer eligible to sign up for Colombia’s EPS healthcare system. People like us, who already hold M visas, are allowed to stay enrolled. We don’t know the status for other types of visas; best to talk to an immigration attorney to find out.

Healthcare was a big motivator for us to become expats.

When we first started germinating the idea of retiring outside the U.S. (at least 15 years ago), we weren’t yet at an age where we needed a lot of healthcare services. But we knew that day would come – and we had no faith (we still don’t) that the U.S. would ever adopt a universal and affordable healthcare system like basically the rest of the developed world.

But why Colombia? As our adopted home for five years now, this country ticks many of our boxes – not the least of which is its excellent, affordable healthcare system. The WHO has ranked Colombia’s health system above Canada, Australia, and the U.S. for metrics such as affordability, accessibility, and quality of care.  The system is considered the best in Central and South America, and it’s improving every year. In fact, 26 of Latin America’s best hospitals are located in Colombia, according to a 2021 ranking by América Economía. Many physicians are multilingual, and there are growing numbers of clinics specializing in serving the foreign market. As such, Colombia is gaining a reputation for medical tourism including transplant surgeries, dental work, and cosmetic procedures.

Here’s an interesting article about how Colombia weathered the COVID-19 crisis (very well) and what lies ahead for the healthcare system here:

It’s taken a bit of patience and a pile of trial and error, but we finally feel we have the Colombian healthcare system wired (mas o menos!). This post has a lot of detail, but we’re gearing it towards new Colombian expats (or the expat-curious) who may not be sure exactly where to start. In other words, this is information we wish we’d had when we first moved here! Of course, this is our experience, and your mileage may vary.

Colombia healthcare basics

Entidades Promotoras de Salud (EPS) is Colombia’s national healthcare system, funded by the government. More than 97% of citizens and legal residents (including resident foreigners like us) are enrolled in EPS – the very definition of universal healthcare. EPS is delivered through contracts with several private insurance companies, the largest and most highly rated of which is SURA. Like the other providers, SURA operates several of its own facilities and contracts health care services out to other private clinics and hospitals. As resident foreigners, we chose SURA.

EPS is the mandatory basic-level system, available to everyone. But in addition, residents can purchase complementary plans that offer additional benefits. John and I are enrolled in a SURA complementary plan called 60+ (because it’s tailored to old farts like us). This gives us several extra benefits that aren’t available with basic EPS: direct access to certain specialists, a private room if we need to be hospitalized, and emergency in-home care, should we ever need it. There’s also another layer called planes prepagados (prepaid plans), which is basically private health insurance that can be purchased by anyone, resident or not. The prepaid plans vary widely according to age, pre-existing conditions, and scope of coverage. They tend to be more expensive because they give patients the latitude to go to doctors and healthcare facilities of their choice.

Finally, everyone has the option of going outside the system and paying out of pocket to visit a private doctor. We’ve done it a few times, and the biggest reason is that it can sometimes take weeks or even months to get an appointment with a SURA specialist. Even the private doctors are inexpensive (the average cost of a private consult is $30-$50 US).

Our favorite things About Colombia’s healthcare system

IMG_0659 Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
When I broke my ankle, my orthopedist put my cast on himself.

The doctors are very hands-on. A typical office visit goes like this: The doctor comes out to greet you, and then you sit at his/her desk while he/she (not a nurse) takes your medical history and asks questions. Then the doctor (not a nurse) takes your vitals and does any other necessary examining. We have never felt rushed by any doctor, SURA or private – they take the time it takes to get a complete understanding of your complaint and how to address it. Many of the doctors we’ve seen have shared their email addresses and even private WhatsApp numbers, in case we had questions later.

Also, many of the doctors speak some level of English (particularly the specialists, who are required to study English in medical school).

Appointments are punctual and streamlined. There’s usually no waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for an appointment to begin; in fact, we’ve learned that if we show up early, we might be seen early. And there’s no sitting in the waiting room filling out reams and reams of HIPAA forms and other paperwork.

Dental and vision care are covered. One thing we think is crazy about the U.S. system is dental care, which is treated separately from regular healthcare and requires a separate and costly insurance policy. In Colombia, both dental and vision care are part of the regular SURA service. It’s an example of the holistic approach that healthcare providers take here.

Care is very accessible. We don’t have to drive far to reach world-class clinics and hospitals. And things are now even more convenient with the opening of two SURA clinics right here in our town, El Retiro. They’re small, but they can handle minor emergencies, routine doctor visits, and lab work. They even offer dentistry (which will come in handy next time John loses a crown!).

Quality of care is excellent. We have no complaints. The SURA doctors are thorough, follow through on their commitments, and offer comprehensive and effective treatment plans. The clinics are as clean and modern as anything we’ve seen in the U.S., and the equipment is the state of the art.

Test results are available within a day or two (with a couple of exceptions) and they’re automatically sent to patients via email, text, or both. It’s also easy to download test results from the SURA website.

Screenshot-2023-12-14-at-9.04.39-AM-1 Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
Screen grab from the SURA online portal, where I can download my most recent test results.

Most medications are available over the counter and at a very low cost. Example: I can walk into any pharmacy, anywhere, and buy a three-month supply of my thyroid medication for about $20 (that’s about a third of the price for the generic drug in the U.S.). It would be even less if we used the SURA pharmacies (but they’re kind of a hassle and put a limit on refills).

Our not-so-favorite things

Preventative care takes some legwork. There really is no concept here of a primary care physician who coordinates every aspect of a patient’s care, and preventive medicine really isn’t a thing. It’s on us to get orders approved for things like routine mammograms (orders usually require a visit to the SURA general medicine doctor). Then it’s on us to go out and get the test scheduled and done. When test results are ready, they’re sent to the patient, not the doctor – and it’s on us to make an appointment with the doctor to discuss the results. The flip side: Taking ownership of your health is a good thing, we believe!

Making appointments can be challenging, especially if you’re not fluent in Spanish. I’ve gotten pretty good at making appointments over the phone (since the basic vocabulary is always the same),  but it’s always an adventure. The good news is that more providers are now offering automated appointment systems online or through WhatsApp. It’s fast and easy, for instance, to get an appointment with a general medicine doctor on the SURA web portal.

Seeing a SURA specialist has some red tape and can take a while. Unless you have a complementary plan, you have to get a referral from a SURA general medicine doctor first. Example: When I was first diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, I had to visit the SURA doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist. And then I found there were no open appointments for at least four months! I couldn’t wait that long, so I went instead to a private endocrinologist (he saw me the following week) for about $40. Although our SURA 60+ complementary plan allows us to make appointments directly with specialists, the list is pretty limited (no endocrinology or gynecology, for instance). I guess they figure old ladies don’t need gynecology!

IMG_5653 Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
The cardiac center at the Hospital Fundacion San Vicente, where John sees his (private) cardiologist.

And here’s another wrinkle. Let’s say the private specialist orders up some lab work. Unless you want to pay for those tests out of pocket at a private lab, you have to go to the SURA doctor to get orders. Sometimes SURA denies the order if not enough time has elapsed since the last test. More than once, I’ve had to pay out of pocket at a private lab for testing my endocrinologist wanted. It’s still really inexpensive – a thyroid ultrasound cost about $35, and an extensive round of blood work was about $40.

The SURA computer system is a mystery.  There are at least two different portals for accessing SURA services, and their data are not always in sync. Plus, there does not seem to be a universal electronic medical record. Every time we visit a SURA doc, we can count on spending some long minutes sitting at the desk while he/she types in our history info. The same info we gave last time. If it’s tedious for us, I’m sure it’s no treat for the doctors!

What about major health crises?

John and I are fortunate – we’re relatively healthy and (so far) have not had major medical emergencies or surgery in Colombia (cue the loud knocking on wood!). But here’s an anecdotal story from our friend Byron, a former SURA EPS member. In 2018, he and his wife Mariah moved from Panama to Medellin just a few months before we did. And then a scary thing happened (in his own words):

“My heart attack in January 2018 landed me in Pablo Tobón Uribe hospital, the only Joint Commission hospital in Medellin. We had SURA EPS at the time. After my ER visit, a stent placement, four nights in an ICU, and a night on a step-down floor, plus all meds, food, nursing care, and attention, at checkout we were handed a co-pay bill of, wait for it, $5.00 US. (Not a typo) Five bucks. And the medical care was world-class.”

The upshot is that we know we can walk into any emergency room in Colombia and know we’ll be covered by SURA. Pretty reassuring!

Here’s the part you’re probably waiting for. What do we pay?

Residents pay for EPS on a sliding scale, based on income. For us, that’s about $100 US a month (with slight variations according to the exchange rate). Occasionally there will be a copay for a SURA doctor visit or lab test, but it’s never more than about $1.50.

583984D7-376C-4FA7-879D-C9F3AC3BD874_1_201_a-scaled Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
John gets his first COVID vaccine at SURA’s mass vaccination clinic in May 2021

Here’s a partial listing of stuff we’ve had done through SURA EPS, at no additional charge:

  • Numerous visits to the general medicine docs
  • Colonoscopies for both of us and endoscopy for John
  • ER visit for me when I broke my ankle (yes, it was FREE!)
  • Vision exams (frames cost extra but are discounted)
  • Dental exams and cleaning
  • Visits to a GI doctor, orthopedist, dermatologist, ENT doc, and general surgeon (to evaluate a hernia John has)
  • Three different sets of x-rays for my ankle
  • Other imaging including ecocardiograms, thyroid and abdomen ultrasound, thyroid nuclear scan, and bone density scan
  • A holter EKG monitor for John
  • A boatload of blood work for both of us
  • A hearing test for John
IMG_5649 Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
For $25 a month, Dr. House offers even more peace of mind. We’ve used them once, and the doctor came within 20 minutes. Medications are included.

In addition, we pay $125 a month for the complementary 60+ plan and an additional $25 a month for Dr. House, a 24/7 in-home medical service. (NOTE: Dr. House is only available to clients in El Oriente, the region just to the east and south of Medellín.) That comes to about $250 a month for comprehensive coverage, for both of us. With no deductibles and no coverage denial for pre-existing conditions.

Our out-of-pocket costs are also extremely low compared to U.S. prices. In addition to my endocrinologist, John sees a private cardiologist (also about $45 a visit). When I broke my ankle, I didn’t want to wait too long after getting my cast off to start physical therapy – so I paid about $225 for 15 PT sessions from a private provider. Altogether, our private medical costs for 2023 have totaled about $1,000. Add to that about $700 for prescribed medications.

Grand total for 2023: About $4,000 for both of us (including SURA premiums and out-of-pocket costs).

A few more tips 

9E04D43C-CF3D-4A7D-9041-575A0EA9E1E5-scaled Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
Juan Camilo is a fantastic resource for new expats, and is also our good friend!

If your Spanish is limited, get some help. When we first arrived in Medellín, we found a godsend in the form of Juan Camilo Aguilar. He’s not only an excellent driver and tour guide, but he’s also great at helping new expats get things done – things like opening a bank account, working through the visa process at Migración, and signing up for EPS coverage. We know people who even use Juan and his wife Paulina as interpreters in medical appointments. Juan’s WhatsApp is +57 316 833 4225.

Write down your medical history and then translate it into Spanish. Make sure you include past surgeries, conditions you’re currently being treated for, medicines you’re currently taking, height/weight (in cm and kg) and family history. It’s a great tool to hand to the doctor, especially if he/she doesn’t speak English. They always appreciate the extra effort!

Always show up early to appointments, as we mentioned. One time, we showed up well over an hour early and the doctor was able to take us almost right away. Fridays seem to be much quieter days at SURA, so go for Friday appointments.

Some parting thoughts

The U.S. simply must get its healthcare act together. If we were still in the states, John would now be enrolled in Medicare and I would be paying through the nose for some kind of health insurance policy (I have a year to go before I’m eligible for Medicare). Even if I were still working, I’d be paying my share for my company’s plan. In addition to my insurance, John would have the monthly Part B Medicare deduction from his social security (about $174), and he’d be paying more for the supplemental insurance needed to fill all the holes in the basic Medicare

IMG_8862-1 Healthcare in Colombia: Our Experience Colombia The Expat Life
Getting new prescription sunglasses with our local (private) optometrist, Dra. Bibiana Peña

coverage. Factor in copays and deductibles. And dental insurance, which can be around $200 a month (apiece). It’s hard to know exactly what our yearly healthcare outlay would be, but we can safely assume it would be several times more than the $4,000 we’re paying here. We honestly don’t know how people manage in the U.S., even with insurance.

John and I have found a healthcare approach that works for us. That means using the SURA services as much as we can, and using private providers as necessary. Are there ways to save even more money? Of course – we will probably go back to SURA for dentistry now that it’s offered in El Retiro (we currently use a private dentist in Medellín). We could use the SURA pharmacy to fill our prescriptions. And we could go back to the SURA eye clinic instead of our local optometrist. Often, the decision to go private boils down to convenience as well as necessity.

We’re all in for Colombia. The healthcare system is one of so many things we love about our life here. The overall cost of living, fantastic climate, beautiful scenery, and – above all – our wonderful Colombian friends all add up to nirvana, at least for this time in our lives.

Life is great in El Retiro, Colombia!

40 Comments

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks, Mel! When you get to be a certain age (staring our dotage in the face – ha!), healthcare is maybe the most important feature. We hope to live long, healthy lives, but it pays to have our bases covered. Colombia is the right place for that (for us, for now).

  1. I would’ve never thought of Colombia with incredible healthcare above even Canada and Australia (although for the US, I’m not surprised, given how our own home country’s is abysmal)! My job has me work with Medicaid (and I have basic knowledge of Medicare), and I know that the US healthcare system is terrible, even with those basic governmental programs! Looks like you made the right choice to move, and I’m glad to see you two flourishing abroad!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks, Rebecca! You work with Medicaid? Ugh – you have our sympathy. (Soapbox: It’s so crazy that politicans in some states have refused Medicaid funding, since it’s really the ONLY program available to the poor. Just nuts, and infuriating.) In researching the ins and outs of Medicare yesterday, one thing that struck me is how complicated it is. Part B, and Parts C, D, E, etc. etc. Who can keep track? John has already decided not to enroll (he expects to live and die outside the U.S.) but I’m still a bit on the fence. I have another year to decide . . . but just the thought of having to enter that complex, crazy system gives me the willies.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Ha, sign us up! Thanks, Rebecca 🙂

  2. Susan Carolyn Cravey Reply

    I’m considering moving to Colombia and am glad to hear about their healthcare system. I knew it was good, but to hear it laid out like this, is very comforting.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      So glad the post was helpful! Let us know if you have any questions about the expat life here.

  3. Amen to all of this, and I’ll add my own Colombian healthcare (potential nightmare) story. My heart attack in January 2018 landed me in Pablo Tobón Uribe hospital, the only Joint Commission hospital in Medellin. We had SURA EPS at the time. After my ER visit, a stent placement, four nights in an ICU, and a night on a step-down floor, plus all meds, food, nursing care, and attention, at checkout we were handed a co-pay bill of, wait for it, $5.00 US. (Not a typo) Five bucks. And the medical care was world class.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Hi, By! How funny, we told your story above. But the actual facts as you stated here are even better, so I’m going to use your words (if that’s OK). It’s everything we love about Colombian healthcare rolled into one great anecdote. So glad you’re doing well now!

  4. Greetings! we are seriously looking at Colombia as our new home, after ruling out Ecuador and Panama for various reasons. our neighbors are from Colombia and have pretty well sold me on it. If you have the time or inclination, could you put together a similar blog on obtaining residency? We are an interracial family unit (wife 61, sister 64 and me (ack!) 76). thanks for the valuable info!! and what made you choose el retiro?

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Hi Bryan, and welcome to our blog! That’s a good idea to do a post about getting residency. It’s been 5 years since we went for our original visas. I’m not up to speed on how the rules have changed since then, but I’ll research that. We’re about to get our visas renewed next year and go for permanent residency. The biggest advice I can give is to get good, qualified legal help. We have used Langon Law for our visa work, and the process has been smooth and easy every time.

      So why El Retiro? The short version is that – after weathering all the COVID quarantines in Medellin, we needed to get out of the city and find a quieter and more tranquilo lifestyle. El Retiro came to the top after quite a bit of looking around. Here’s the whole story: https://latitudeadjustmentblog.com/2021/02/17/el-retiro-colombia-our-new-home-sweet-home/

      Good luck planning your move, and let us know if we can answer any other questions!
      – Susan

  5. Very interesting for me especially since I spent some months hospitalized first in Reno, Nevada (USA) and then in Canada, where I live. We have free health care here, but the USA does not.
    I had a complicated broken leg in the US which required surgery. Anyone who visits the US and doesn’t purchase travel health insurance is asking for trouble. I later fell again in Canada and broke my wrist. (I will NOT fall again!!!)
    I am grateful for our health care system….
    Glad you like what you have where you are. It can be so helpful.
    All my best to you both, Muriel

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      No more falling for you, dear Muriel! 🙂 Sorry to hear about that leg injury. But I guess it gave you a chance to compare the two systems side by side. A lot of Canadians we know like to complain about their system, but at least it’s free and available. We are 100% with you on travel insurance; we will not leave Colombia without it. We actually had to use it in the US once, and it saved us several hundred dollars! An absolute must, especially if you’re uninsured in your home country (as we are).

  6. As an expat who arrived in Colombia in 1984 I have had non-private EPS health coverage (not a private prepaid plan, not a complementary plan, just a regular EPS) through my employment and now through my Colombian pension. I have not paid more than the equivalent of about one USD dollar for surgeries, hospital stays, routine exams, visits to specialists, xrays, diagnostic tests, etc. in the last 40 years because I am in the income level A which is less than 2 SMLMV. The 2023 SMLMV is about USD$272, the current legal monthly minimum wage in Colombia. About USD$35 is deducted from my monthly pension. As a monthly contributor to a public EPS at income level A my copays are COP$4100 which is about one dollar (USD). In the last 40 years my copays have been consistently one dollar and I have received excellent medical care in both rural and urban settings from professionals concerned about my health, not my pocketbook. I cannot say enough good things about the Colombian health care system.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Goodness! I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of changes in the system (and in Colombia) since 1984. As a Colombian citizen who has been paying into a pension here for all those years, you bring another very interesting perspective to the discussion. I love hearing that the 4100 COP copay hasn’t changed in all those years!

  7. It’s crazy to think how the US lags behind many other places in the world when it comes to universal healthcare and mass rapid transit — things that actually serve a lot of people. I have a soft spot for countries that serve their people, and Colombia really sounds like a great example.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks, Bama. It took moving out of the U.S. for us to really appreciate just how much better things can be, if governments actually work for their people.

  8. Thanks for this interesting, informative, and detailed report on the health care system and intricacies in Colombia. I would totally trust it and use it as a potential expat! In our case, however, medical care and treatment have worked out really well – and for free – in the state of Massachusetts in the US. So much so, that it would be hard for us to give it up at some point, if we became expats somewhere.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Ah, you’re lucky enough to have residency in one of the handful of states that’s making a go at universal healthcare (I believe Hawaii is another one). It’s such a shame that most states (especially the red ones) are a long way from realizing this ideal. Typically it’s the states with the largest numbers of poor people – the people who most need help – that are opposed. Reform must take place at the national level (but I’m not holding my breath). There are too many entities that stand to lose a lot of money – hospitals, insurance companies, drug companies. Healthcare should not be based on a profit model.

  9. very interesting. As someone who has always lived in Europe with free healthcare, I can’t imagine the US system. It’s so unfair and means the people who need it most are excluded from proper care. It’s really shocking.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      “Shocking” is a mild world. “Infuriating” comes to mind. There really is no excuse for the situation in the U.S. But as long as entities continue to make a lot of money off healthcare, nothing will change.

  10. Thanks so much for this article very informative! Living in Colombia now and private pay for health care needs. Was formerly paying around $800 a month for health insurance in US that I wasn’t using. Despite having a visa I have been careful to avoid becoming a tax resident here but thinking of staying past the 182 out of 365 days and applying for health insurance. So your article is super helpful!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Glad the info’s helpful, and you’re very welcome! Re: Colombia taxes, we’ve found that the tax burden on expats is super-low compared to most other countries (especially those in the EU). Often, expats end up not owing any tax. We’re happy to pay our small amount and do our part. But everyone’s situation is different.

  11. Very interesting! We have our National Health Service here in the UK, but it bugs me that dental work has become detached and is now pretty much privatised… It’s also difficult to get on a private dentist’s waiting list these days.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      I’m sorry to hear that’s happened with dental care in the UK. Treating dental as somehow separate, rather than something that’s integral to overall health, really makes no sense to me. I guess there’s a lot of money to be made in dental care. *sigh*

  12. Interesting to compare Columbia to Canada vs US. In this province in Canada we do not pay any premiums unless you have a private insurance package and many people do. As a retired person my private insurance premiums are taken out of my pension and are about $ 50 a month which covers drugs, dental, physio etc but there is about a 10% copayment. Funding of doctors and hospital care are taken out of the annual income tax here and there are no premiums or copayments. Columbia seems to have better family practice patient interface than here in Canada where we are having manpower shortages and delays in accessing care. Bravo to Columbia for getting many things right from Columbia Britannico.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment! I guess no system’s perfect. But anything’s better than in the U.S., where you can actually go bankrupt (or die) if you don’t have health insurance. I have heard about the delays that can occur with the Canadian system, but overall it sounds like a good solution for you. Happy holidays!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks, Meg – glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Kraig B Richard Reply

    Grew up a long hour south of Montreal in Vermont. When I was a kid my parents brought us to Bedford for dental work. Then 10 years ago I went to Montreal for diagnostics, and spent the savings at a nice restaurant. …They didn’t serve poutine 🙂 Bernie (Sanders) organized bus trips for people to go there for medicine.
    ;

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Too bad about the poutine! I remember those Bernie bus trips. I thought I read that the FDA stepped in and made it illegal to buy drugs in Canada. Makes me wonder who they’re protecting: consumers, or Big Healthcare?

  14. Good morning (again), John and Susan. I posted a comment upthread suggesting a residency blog. We are sold on the healthcare in Colombia, thanks to you and your commenters. That is our number one concern about where to go. the second major concern is residency. my wife has been looking into it and said it doesn’t seem too encouraging, but admittedly, we have not found consistent and informative information. if you or others could direct us to, or have personal experience that would help us evaluate our own situation, I would appreciate it. as I mentioned, our family unit is a little complicated.. me (causcasian, 76), my wife (Jamaican, 61) and sister (african american, adopted at early age, with no proof of adoption and parents both deceased). for adoptions so long ago, particularly interracial, records are sealed, lost, or otherwise impossible to acquire. fortunately, we have never had to prove it, but I fear we may have to for residency requirements. any help or direction for general residency would be greatly appreciated. best wishes and happy holidaze to you and others on here!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Hello again, Bryan. I wish I could advise you on your residency questions. Our situation is pretty straightforward – two retirees with U.S. passports. We have not had to renew our residency in over two years; in fact, we’ll be up for renewal again in Nov. 2024. We currently have M (for Migrant) visas, which are typically good for up to three years. Since we have been in Colombia for five years, we’ll now be eligible for “permanent” visas, which aren’t really permanent but do last longer than 3 years. Once we go through this process and have some current experience to draw on, we will do a blog post.

      I don’t think your situation is hopeless, but I strongly recommend you get some legal help. We have used Langon Law for our past two visa submittals, and they’ve done a great job for us. https://langoncolombia.com/ They are in the best position to give you up-to-date advice.

      Best of luck and please keep us posted!

      – Susan

  15. We met so many Colombians with perfect teeth and then found out that braces are covered under their health care plan! That was our first indication that their healthcare was a priority. Thankfully we didn’t need to test it. Merry Christmas to you both 🙂 Maggie and Richard

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year back to you, Maggie and Richard! I’ve said it before – it’s just crazy that dental health is treated separately in the U.S. I guess it boils down to all the extra money to be made by dentists and dental insurance companies. Because in the states, it really is all about profit. Ugh. Anyway . . . Have a great 2024. Where are you off to next?

  16. Wow……Impressive documentary. My Manizales wife of 40++++years and I plan on residing in Manizales. This helps clear a few things up, but still have questions that we hope to answer when we visit Manizales in the near future. We also have that thing called Age!!!!! Wasn’t making sense of the calculations for the monthly EPS premiums, but kept digging and came across the correct formula…………..Stay Healthy, and perhaps we can meet one day???? Thanx Mucho

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks for reading, Larry – glad the post was helpful. Good luck with your move to Manizales. We’re headed there in February as part of a new Colombian road trip we’re doing. Looking forward to seeing it!

  17. Renee Older Reply

    Hi! You did an excellent job on the article and describing your experiences. I originally moved to Colombia in 2016 and have lived in various areas, most without even the most basic healthcare resources. For example, my at-the-time 8 year old had appendicitis during the pandemic ( July ’20 ) while we were living in Jerico, which can’t handle that situation, so we got her to Medellín, she had surgery, and I think everything start to finish at the exchange rate at the time was under $800 USD. It would have cost me way more than that just to have her seen in an ER in the States. WAY more.
    I agree with everything you said, and my mom has lived in Colombia since 2019 and does have Sura, so we can both relate to everything you wrote. So glad I found you!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thank you so much, and welcome to our blog! Glad you had such a great outcome with your young one’s surgery. Where do you and your mom live now?

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