So What’s The Deal On Health Insurance In This Country?

Mexico has for years had its own version of Obama Care. Everyone who pays taxes through payroll deduction has access to health insurance.  It’s called IMSS for its acronym in Spanish. In addition to insuring the working people, anyone who doesn’t work, including foreigners, can sign up and pay a modest fee each month. The quality of this insurance varies with the hospital and which doctor you draw. Some can be quite good, but you can’t count on that. Also, many of these hospitals have antiquated equipment.

Further down the pecking order of getting your life saved is a recent (within the last five years), new program for those who didn’t pay into IMSS. It’s called seguro popular, or insurance for the population. It is plagued by long, long lines and again, the care ranges from excellent to pretty bad. A lot depends on where you live because if your neighbors are all scofflaws and not paying into IMSS, then suguro popular is going to be crowded and there will be backlogs for elective surgery.

Many Mexicans don’t want to pay taxes, (who does?) and will tell a naive American employer they are not eligible to pay taxes, saying this just to get out of paying. Don’t allow that! Sure, you as the employer has to pay a little more tax, but its not that much, and let’s face it, you’re getting those employees to work for way less than you would pay in the States. And why exploit them?

Paying taxes is a good deal for employees. In addition to qualifying for insurance, their taxes pay for free child care, retirement just like American social security, and a housing fund. After a certain amount of credits are built up, the government pays for a down payment on a home of the worker’s choice, and even helps with the payments. If they already have a home, they can buy a rental property with their credits.

Of course you will hear them whine about the government stealing all the tax money. True, there is a lot of that going on, but these programs are solid, and have always paid up.

So don’t let your employee talk you into not participating in the tax system. It’s good for them and it’s good for their country. And ultimately it’s good for the employer because you’re doing the right thing for your team.