Extending U.S. Medicare to Mexico
Why It's Important to Consider and What Can Be Done
Download Free Electronic Document
|PDF file||0.3 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
There is a lack of hard data on the exact number of Medicare-eligible retirees residing in Mexico, but it is at least in the tens of thousands and is certainly rising as the baby boom generation reaches retirement. Because Medicare does not cover health services received outside the United States, these retirees must travel to the United States for health care or purchase alternative coverage for health services received in Mexico. There are several arguments for extending Medicare to Mexico — that is, allowing Medicare-eligible beneficiaries to receive their Medicare benefits in Mexico. Medicare-eligible retirees living in Mexico would certainly benefit, and Mexico might benefit from improved quality of care and an expanded health economy. Moreover, American taxpayers might benefit from a reduced total cost of Medicare: To the extent that extending Medicare to Mexico induces Medicare beneficiaries to substitute higher-cost U.S. health care services with lower-cost Mexican services, overall Medicare expenditures might be reduced. The authors outline four options for how this policy change might be implemented and describe a conceptual model that could be used to assess the effects of each option.
This occasional paper results from the RAND Corporation’s Investment in People and Ideas program. Support for this program is provided, in part, by the generosity of RAND's donors and by the fees earned on client-funded research.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.