Costa Rican’s U.S. Expats May Be Paying Twice For Health Care

U.S. Expats may find themselves paying for Health Care twice

U.S. Expats may find themselves paying twice for Health Care

With the passing and the presidential signing of the U.S. Health Care Reform bill and assuming that it does become a law (13 states filed lawsuits in the US, stating it was unconstitutional)  Costa Rica expats may have a serious problem. They may be forced to carry health insurance in both the U.S. and Costa Rica, I guess you can say a form of double taxation.

According to the health bill, ALL citizens of the U.S. will be forced to carry health insurance at a cost that is a percentage of your income, which is based on Social Security, IRA, retirement funds, interest, dividend income, business income etc etc.  With that said, the IRS has been named as the official collector and enforcer, meaning they are the ones that are going to make sure you paid it. The IRS will have the power to lien your property, garnish your wages including your social security check, and do whatever means possible to collect and enforce these premiums as they have done for taxes.

As a U.S. citizen (expatriate) or resident alien, your worldwide income generally is subject to U.S. income tax regardless of where you are living. Also, you are subject to the same income tax return filing requirements that apply to U.S. citizens or residents living in the United States though generally your filing dates may be extended.

Now this is where the screwing part comes in, many expats and permanent resident card holders in Costa Rica, starting March 1, 2010, a new requirement for foreign residents (including those of the US) must show proof of insurance from the government Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. Now this cost varies from being Independent worker or a voluntary insurance. To seek Costa Rica residency the law requires a minimum of $2000 a month of income or for the sake of this article, about $130 a month (10-11% of income) for Caja costs or monthly premiums.

Now since many expats still have their U.S. citizenship, and file income tax returns since their income comes for the U.S., more than likely they will ALSO have to pay for the U.S. Health Plan Reform. And if they don’t, may find themselves with IRS problems.

According to an attorney friend, who has done a considerable amount of research on the U.S. health bill, claims, he has seen nothing in the bill that gives you some type of immunity if you have a health care program outside the U.S.. He believes that those taxpayers living abroad will probably be liable to pay the U.S Health Care Reform premiums!

Without knowing what this premium is going to cost, you can bet one sure thing, it is going to be a lot higher than what an expat is paying for insurance in Costa Rica and nowhere as good. The Costa Rican healthcare system is rated very high on an international level, higher then that of the U.S. according to the World Health Organization.

Expats Pay for Caja Policy

Costa Rica Medical
Calypso Cruises

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  1. Kevin Chicwak says:

    My wife and I have just begun considering moving to either Belize, Costa Rica or Panama. I’m 50 years old with heart problems and am starting to get to the point where I’m going to have seriously think about medical retirement. My wife is already disabled.

    The U.S. has moved to far toward the radical left politically. Even the news media except for FOX has a radical left wing bias. Under the current conditions in the U.S., which has been created courtesy of the left, we cannot expect to be able to survive on our retirement incomes. We therefore must consider other options.

    While Belize is attractive simply due to the language barrier being almost non-existent, Costa Rica has it together when it comes to health-care. Panama I believe is running second place. I’m afraid I will have to make a decision in less than a year as to what I will finally do.

    This nightmare of a healthcare bill that was forced down our throats is just another example of government out of control by the lefties.

    Kevin Chicwak

    • Geirge W Bush says:

      You ignorant dolt! Don't you realize that Costa Rica embraces free markets but democratic socialism as well. The cheap health care you seek is part of one large social welfare program. Such programs, I might add, have advanced the standard of living and welfare of the Costa Ricans. So you can whine all you want about the lefties in the US, but just wait until you come to CR. Better yet, don't. Syria has affordable health care with a conservative government. You might feel right at home.

    • Let me guet this straight: you are being forced to leave the US because it does NOT have a socialist medical care system and moving to CR because it DOES have a socialist medical care system and you claim that the US is too left?/ BAHAHAHAHAH

  2. Terry Baker says:

    The central problem with our “new” medical care law is that the U.S. has opted for a gift for the U.S. insurance companies/pharmaceutical companies/medical establishment and NOT for a single payer system. The resulting complex of laws and changes in law defy anyone’s understanding. At best, it is a work in progress, and that progress might well lead to a single payer system in 10 years after it becomes obvious that the current direction proves unworkable.
    It is lovely for the Dems, who never even had a go at offering a single payer system this go round (gutless subservience before the medical establishment) now tell us not to WORRY over such things as a penalty for those who elect not to go with being forced to “sign up” with some private insurer. Not to say the well funded right-wingers have it right EITHER.

    I am considering leaving the U.S. much because it has moved politically too far to the right. Many nod without reflection towards these changes; both the changes and these people, millions of people, thousands of changes, truly horrify and genuinely frighten me. And I haven’t had adequate medical care since 1984. Moving to Costa Rica does look like a possibility for improving my life. I just got back in the States after investigating moving. None of the Costa Ricans I spoke with thought our medical system, one that is designed to maximize profits, either sane or ethical. To include the scheme the Dems cooked up. “Change, but not very much change, and window dressing only mostly…forcing people to sign up with an insurer with probably only some few to choose amongst in their areas. No “public” option. And as to the penalty for just saying “NO THANKS,” consider how states behave with respect to forcing you to buy automobile insurance. Only two states no longer demand that you pay some insurance company for car insurance I believe. And one of them goes over to “coercive” this month! Corporate governance includes the claim that this kind of exercise in power is just dandy. I would say…NO.

    Terry Baker

  3. Ticachica54 says:

    I have reviewed the bill as it was passed and the IRS cannot and will not lien your property, take your house or granish your wages. If you are not covered by your employer, medicare, medical, state program or union or a self-employed policy through the exchanges (which by the way isn’t nearly EVERYBODY) you will pay a small tax for not havng healthcare. It is a non-enforceable, non-penalty tax not at all like income tax.
    You can even purchase insurance at the emergency room prior to treatment if you are seriously ill when theprogram goes into effect in 2014.Senior expatriates will not be penalized since they would be covered under Medicare automatically. STOP HYPERVENTILATING AND SCARING EVERYONE WITH REPUBLICAN CREATED MISINFORMATION. It simply isn’t true.

  4. Tom Vander Ven says:

    Re: “The Costa Rican healthcare system is rated very high on an international level, higher then that of the U.S., according to the World Health Organization.”

    The last time that the WHO conducted its international rating was ten years ago, 2000. It stopped the rating practice, acknowledging that the comparisons have so may variables that the ratings do not have clear, objective grounds.

    Which is not to say that the Costa Rican health care is not good. And Costa Rica was only one position higher than the U.S. (36th v 37th). Is that a meaningful degree of separation? Would it be true today, ten years later?

    I make this point, knowing that my wife and I have serious objections to American health care as it has functioned over our lives. That’s one of the reasons why we are considering a move to Costa Rica.

    How soon and with what certainty will we be able to learn when the mandatory U.S. health care premiums go into effect, and what the cost will be? Does anyone out there know? Please post what you know, please!


  5. Frank Manley says:

    Having friends, Ronny Badilla and Oscar Baduiia in lovely CR (two trips) This seems another case of government screwing the taxpayer.

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