As I think I reported here a couple of months ago I accompanied my gringo neighbor, Steve, to the local IMSS office to provide translation services for the renewal of his IMSS enrollment. While there I inquired as to what is required for me to enroll.
A few weeks ago I took copies of all of the documents I thought were necessary to apply for enrollment. As it turned out I was told that I must have my birth certificate translated into Spanish and was informed that I could have it translated down the street at the Centro de Idiomas (language school) of the University of Veracruz. So off I went.
The teacher with whom I met at the Centro de Imiomas indicated I could return the next day to pick up the translated document. When I returned she informed me that there were a couple items she wasn’t able to read from the 1970 photocopy of my birth certificate and asked me to make corrections. I corrected three items, such as my father’s middle name and the name of the street where my family lived at the time of my birth, the teacher promptly made the corrections, had the office director certify the translation, I paid $250 pesos, and I was on my way.
Today I returned to the IMSS office with copies of my passport and FM 3 visa, the translated birth certificate, 2 frontal head shot photos, and copies of my cable TV bill. Within 10 minutes after entering the office the fellow helping me had completed the necessary paperwork and escorted me to the outer office where I would receive the premium invoice, which I would take to and pay at the bank next door. Generally fees for governmental services here are paid at a bank. I waited in line, with my service number in hand, for about fifteen minutes when I was beckoned to the service counter where the invoices are produced. Within five minutes I had the invoice in hand and was off to the bank next door.
I waited in line at the bank for about 10 minutes, paid the $1,930.44 peso fee ($180. USA) for one year of health insurance coverage, received my receipt, went across the street to obtain two copies of the payment receipt, and crossed back across the street to the IMSS office.
I provided a copy of the receipt to the outer office service counter, went back to the office of the fellow who had completed the initial paperwork and gave him the other copy of the receipt, and within 10 minutes he handed me my enrollment card, upon which visits for medical attention are recorded, and my copies of the paperwork. That was it. All-in-all, it took about an hour or so.
As of June 1 I will be enrolled in the IMSS health insurance system. Next May I must renew my coverage and pay the annual fee, which, incidentally, is now $2,905 pesos for those over the age of 60.
As with my experiences with the immigration offices here and in Merida, the folks who attended to my IMSS application were uniformly very pleasant and efficient.