If you are planning to move to Peru and you want to contract medical insurance, you have three good options: 1) see if you can extend your current coverage to cover you overseas, 2), purchase a local insurance policy in Peru 3) invest in an international plan designed for expatriates living all over the world.

What about my travel insurance?

Health insurance plans for expats in Peru.

People often assume that they do not need to take out an expatriate health insurance plan if they already have travel insurance that includes a medical insurance section. However, most travel insurance policies only provide emergency medical treatment for accidents and short term illnesses, and do not cover routine medical problems and needs. Travel insurance should not be a replacement for international medical insurance, but merely a supplement.

Here are some Peruvian insurance companies that offer international health plans for expatriates:

Pacífico Seguros: This is one of the largest and most established Peruvian health insurance companies. They have a comprehensive international health insurance with coverage in more than 250 local clinics and in 5000 hospitals around the world.

La Positiva: This insurance company is another great option for expatriates in Peru looking for an international medical coverage plan. Their international plan covers up to $9,000,000.

Mapfre: Mapfre Peru offers an international health plan for expatriates with coverage in local clinics and hospitals in different parts of the world. Their international plan covers up to $ 3.000.000.

Rimac: This is another one of the largest companies with a very wide range of coverage and a deep network of clinics.

Should I use an insurance broker?

Yes. Even though you can buy your insurance directly from the insurance companies, it is a good idea to use a bilingual broker as your intermediary. The cost is the same, and a bilingual broker can help you navigate the different companies and options, and if you ever have an issue, they are in your corner to help.

If you would like an updated recommendation for a local insurance broker, please drop us a line: [email protected] and we’ll tell you about our personal experience.

Purchase medical insurance from a company, or directly from a clinic. ©Martha Dominguez de Gouveia

Can I purchase medical insurance from a private clinic?

Yes, many clinics will offer to sell you a private insurance policy that covers treatment at their own clinic. In many cases, these policies may be less expensive, but your treatment locations are very limited. Still, it’s a good option: inquire at your neighborhood clinics to learn what they offer.

Will my employer provide me with medical insurance in Peru?

Probably, and perhaps you will even get double coverage. This is because everyone who is formally employed is covered by the ESALUD system, which is paid for by employers. This is a national health insurance system with a dedicated network of clinics and hospitals nationwide. Some of these clinics, especially the more modern ones, offer decent service, but others might lack resources, might have poor levels of hygiene, and you might face long waiting lists for treatment. Other companies, particularly the larger multinationals, will also provide their employees with medical coverage with a private insurer. This is a perk, not an obligation.

Okay, I want to purchase a short-term, expatriate health insurance plan. What kind of coverage is usually available?  

  1. A) Essential Expat Insurance Plans – Most international health insurers offer a ‘budget’ or essential version of private expatriate medical insurance that covers emergencies only. In-patient and day-patient treatment, post hospital treatment, emergency dental and complications of pregnancy are usually included. Outpatient and routine maternity and dental costs are generally not covered.
  2. B) Classic Expat Insurance Plans – These health insurance plans are designed to provide specialist medical treatment or diagnosis. You will usually be covered for outpatient consultations, diagnostic tests, a range of preventative health checks, normal pregnancy and complementary care, routine dental treatment and any in-patient hospital stays.
  3. C) Premium Expat Insurance Plans – In addition to the benefits of essential and classic health insurance plans, premium expatriate insurance plans also tend to cover family doctor treatment, home nursing and any prescription medications you may need.
Most international health insurance plans cover medical emergencies. ©Mustapha Muhammed

Emergency medical evacuation, repatriation services and a 24 hour multilingual help line are included in most private international health insurance plans. However, some insurance companies offer the choice of removing some or all of these extras in order to reduce the premium.

Keep in mind that private international health insurance is designed to cover treatment for curable, short-term illnesses or injuries. Some illnesses and treatments, such as cancer and HIV, are seldom included in expat medical insurance plans.

Here are a few options to consider:

Aetna: This is an American managed health care company that offers award-winning international health insurance plans for individuals and families.

Seven Corners: This insurance company offers integral medical coverage. It includes 24 hour multilingual travel assistance, help finding a doctor, and evacuation if necessary.

Cigna Global: Cigna Global has coverage in over 200 countries and jurisdictions. They have a medical network comprising of over 1 million partnerships, including 89,000 behavioral health care professionals, and 11,400 facilities and clinics.