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Yuma Area Employers Extend Health Coverage To Mexico

Stephanie Sanchez

Hundreds of Yuma area employees will soon have the option to get their medical care south of the border.

KAWC’s Stephanie Sanchez attended a recent meet and greet for providers and patients in Los Algodones, Mexico.

Starting July 1st, employees of the City of Yuma, Arizona Western College, Crane School District and Yuma Union High School District will be able to visit any health care provider vetted by International Medical Solutions, even those just across the U.S.-Mexico border.

IMS director Gualberto Ruiz said anyone who is enrolled in the Yuma Area Benefits Consortium can choose from hundreds of health care providers in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexicali, Los Algodones, Hermosillo, Nogales, and Rocky Point.

Currently, the insurance plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona treats Mexican doctors like out-of-network providers in the U.S.  But Ruiz said patients can save on out-of pocket costs.

"On the medication side, they’ll be saving anywhere from 200 to 400 percent," Ruiz said. "For example we have a medication for those who are insulin dependent, like the Humalog, the Victoza, the Lantus. Those in the states can cost us anything from $1,400 to $1,800. Here it’s costing us from the same lab...made by Lilly...same laboratory and the same’s costing us about $200."

"Surgical procedures...a gall bladder surgery in Yuma is costing us roughly about $32,000. We can get the same surgery for $4,000," he said.

Ruiz said the one of the biggest benefits will be the timeliness of the appointments.

"When you come down here, you get to see a specialist the same day." he said. "Your blood work is done on the same day, your CT scan, your MRI…it’s a one stop shop.”

Visit for a list of medical providers in Mexico.