All healthcare is free in Argentina to both residents and non-residents. It is not necessary to have insurance; however, many locals and expats choose to pay for a private insurance because the quality of care in the public hospitals can sometimes be lacking, especially in regards to diagnoses and severe medical conditions. The private system gives you more options in medical facilities and hospitals. A few recommended hospitals are listed below (you can purchase private health insurance from each of these facilities):
Hospital Aleman (several locations)
Pueyrredón 1640 (Recoleta)
Tel: (54 11) 4821-1700
Fax: (54 11) 4827-7014
Clinica y Maternidad Suizo-Argentina (Swiss Medical) (several locations)
Pueyrredón 1461 (Recoleta)
Tel: (54 11) 5239-6000
Hospital Italiano (several locations)
Gascón 450 (Almagro)
Tel: (54 11) 4959-0200
OSDE and Medicus are two Argentine companies that offer some of the most comprehensive plans for expats. You can also choose to get your private insurance through an international company like Zurich or Prudential. The enrollment process is straightforward and not very demanding; if you have doubts about your Spanish, an English-speaking doctor can lead you in the right direction. Another option is the Expat Connection group, which has partnerships with insurance companies and can help you, for a fee, sign up for the right plan.
Generally speaking, it’s a better value to obtain private insurance through a private hospital directly, and you shouldn’t have problems finding locations throughout the city. Private plans cost anywhere between $300-$900 pesos for a month of coverage, depending on the type and depth of coverage and which company you decide to use. Employers do offer socialized or group plans, and these plans typically make up around 45% of the healthcare in Buenos Aires. Employees pay a fixed fee, and the difference between that fee and the actual cost of coverage is paid for by the patient. Fixed fees are usually around $40-60 a month, depending on the coverage, and are automatically taken from the employee’s pay. Check with your Human Resources department to see what plan, if any, your company provides.