Typically, a visit to the primary care physician or to the dentist in San Miguel de Allende costs around US $40 out of pocket. At home, in Pennsylvania, when I’m back there, I pay the dentist and the primary care physician anywhere from US $115 – US $125.
The root canal is an example. After I got over the terror of having a root canal treatment in San Miguel de Allende, I asked about the price, and they told me the total bill was US $183. My root canal had them take care of three roots, the entire process taking a total of three visits, each visit lasting over an hour, and the crown being put on.
Fortunately, I never had to have root canal done in the US, but people who have had root canal done in the US tell me it costs anywhere from US $7,000 to US $11,000.
Many people who are retired do not have dental or vision coverage. I had cataract surgery in the States before I came back to San Miguel de Allende this last time, and my Medicare and secondary insurance paid for that surgery in its entirety. I have a problem with the surgery- the lens has a crease in it, giving me a straight streak of light down through my sight all the time.
I went to an English-speaking ophthalmologist here in San Miguel de Allende to check the problem I had after my cataract surgery in the US. The total time that I spent in the ophthalmologist’s clinic in San Miguel de Allende was 47 minutes.
The ophthalmologist in San Miguel de Allende I went to talked with me about procedures that I’d had, showed me a video about cataract surgery, and did some examinations with machines. I also explained to the ophthalmologist what the problem was: that the lens had a crease in it, and that she could correct that with a laser treatment.
She said, “You could go back to your ophthalmologist in the States and have the laser treatment done there. You don’t have to worry, it is correctable.”
So I asked her, “What would the cost be here? Since I would have no insurance,” and she said, “It would cost you under US $400- maybe somewhere between US $340 and US $360,” out of pocket. I would not have to pay for the cataract surgery if I have it done in the States, but the laser procedure in the US would be US $1,800.
My dilemma right now is whether to go back to the US and have the laser treatment done by an ophthalmologist in the States that I’m uncomfortable with at this point because he did not do a good job, or come back to San Miguel de Allende and have the surgery performed by a physician who spent a great deal of time with me, and has explained everything to me. It’s probably worth that US $300 to have a treatment done wherever I feel comfortable, which is in San Miguel de Allende.
The doctor here in San Miguel de Allende dilated my eyes, sent me out to the waiting room for a while, and when I went back in, she spent 27 more minutes with me. I’ve never had a physician in the States spend that much time with me at an appointment, which all the doctors here in San Miguel de Allende seem to do. It’s such personal care here- they treat you as a whole person. No matter which specialist I’ve been to, or my PCP (Primary Care Physician), I’m the only one inside the office area when I’m the patient. There aren’t three or four cubicles. Instead, each person was being moved up until it was their turn.
(Woman in traditional clothes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)