Health coverage in Argentina

Argentina is one of the few countries in the world where healthcare remains free for everyone―regardless of nationality, as it is dispensed in all its public hospitals. However, given the quality disparity of the health system from one region to another, private healthcare offers have increased, being covered by local health insurance plans or international health insurance taken out by expatriates.

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Health insurance for expats in Argentina

The health insurance system in Argentina
 

Since healthcare in Argentina is free of charge, regardless of nationality, it attracts many residents of neighbouring countries! Indeed, they can be covered under the principle of compulsory free care for any patient showing at a public hospital, even if they are neither Argentine citizens nor residents of the country.

However, a large number of Argentines and residents in Argentina are covered by another health insurance system: the obras sociales. This plan is provided and financed by employers' contributions and guarantees employees a compulsory basket of care that covers the main primary care services, provided in dedicated hospital establishments and available to the insured.

However, the effectiveness and success of this dual principle of coverage has a downside: the rapid saturation of the health system. This results in very long delays in obtaining a medical appointment, long queues in the emergency room and in the demanda espontanea or walk-in clinics. In addition, the resources of public hospitals and health centres are often limited in terms of equipment.

> Good to know: Despite the principle of a free health system and since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentina requires non-residents to take out complementary international health insurance covering COVID-19-related care.

How to choose health insurance in Argentina: local or international?
 

The Argentine health insurance system is also based on a third pillar: the prepagas, local mutual health insurance plans taken out individually by citizens or residents (or sometimes by their employers). As an alternative or complement to the coverage provided by the social security system, they allow their policyholders to benefit from care provided by networks of mutual or private establishments, without upfront payment, in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. 

These mutual insurance companies therefore limit their offer of care to a list of partner health centres and hospitals, which can be restrictive when travelling in the country or in case of specific needs. Moreover, the reimbursement of medicines is often very partial and some treatments are subject to a deductible (copago).

To avoid the very long delays of the public health system, to benefit from a more extensive cover, or to have the freedom to consult the private hospital of your choice, it may be useful to take out complementary international health insurance.

The cost of healthcare in Argentina: a few examples

Liste exemple remboursements

GP CONSULTATION

A visit to a GP will cost on average ARS 1,764 (€15)

APRIL International up to 15 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

SPECIALIST CONSULTATION

A visit to a specialist will cost you about ARS 2,350 (€20)

APRIL International up to 20 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

DENTIST - SIMPLE EXTRACTION

A simple tooth extraction can range from ARS 2,500 to 7,000 (€21 to 60)

APRIL International up to 60 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

Disclaimer

Reasonable costs of care in the private sector, APRIL International data 12/2019

 

* Example of reimbursement with MyHealth International - Comfort

** Example of the amount to be paid by the insured after reimbursement

Care in Argentina

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Care in Argentina
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Choosing hospitals
 

Argentina is renowned in Latin America for the quality of its healthcare, and benefits from a competent healthcare workforce. All medical specialties are represented, including highly complex care. Some Argentinian hospitals regularly appear in the rankings of the best healthcare facilities in Latin America, such as the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires or the Sanatorio Güemes (examples of facilities included in the Hospirank 2021 and América Economía 2020 rankings).
 
General hospitals offer services ranging from simple consultations with a general practitioner to highly complex surgeries. Other hospitals or clinics are more specialised, particularly in mother and child health, and dental care. Finally, there are many practitioners in private practice, often attached to local prepaga networks.
 
However, the health system can vary greatly in this large country, which includes good public and private hospitals, especially in the large cities in the north of the country, such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba or Mendoza, large cities to which health transfers are often recommended.

Titre phone establishment list
Health facilities

Phone establishment list
Numéro de téléphone
Numéro de téléphone

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Emergency numbers in Argentina

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Label
Police, Fire department, Ambulance
Phone number
Services group
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Title
FLEXIBLE PROTECTION
Description
Reimbursement of health expenses from the first euro/dollar, including in private hospitals
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Title
TRAVEL WITH PEACE OF MIND
Description
Coverage in Argentina, or even in other countries
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Title
OPTICAL & DENTAL
Description
Reimbursement of optical and dental care (option)
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Title
UNLIMITED TELEMEDICINE SERVICE
Description
A free medical telemedicine service available 24/7 anywhere in the world
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Title
MEDICAL TRANSPORT
Description
Repatriation assistance included in your benefits
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Title
DIRECT BILLING
Description
In the event of hospitalisation, you pay nothing out of pocket

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