Medicare in Mexico? Experts discuss future of long-term care for Americans south of border

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Healthcare and foreign policy experts met Wednesday at the Institute of the Americas to discuss the growing role the Mexican healthcare system is playing in serving the long-term care needs of Americans.

A soon-to-be-released report from the National City, CA-based International Community Foundation, a charity, finds a growing need for long-term care and assisted living facilities that serve Americans in Mexico. There are plenty of opportunities for active retirement in Mexico, but the country is not a very good spot to age in place, NCICF president Richard Kiy noted at the meeting, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Healthcare costs in Mexico are a fraction of the cost of U.S. healthcare, but standards and certification are still an issue.

One major topic of discussion was the possibility of reimbursing Mexican facilities through the Medicare system, reports the San Diego Union Tribune. For the U.S. to even consider that step, Mexican facilities would have to be certified at the same standard as American facilities. Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, is expected to broach the subject when he meets with President Obama next month, but experts at Wednesday's meeting did not foresee any immediate changes to the system, according to the Union Tribune.