Residents association continues to dispute medical rates with the Caja

Disputes continue between the Association of Residents of Costa Rica and the persistent Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social that has started to charge higher rates for association members.

According to the association general manager, Ryan Piercy, the rising rates and additional requirements have caused much concern from members who are signing petition letters. Piercy said that if the Caja denies any requested changes then the argument will likely head to the constitutional court, Sala IV.

The association that assists foreigners in transitioning to residency in Costa Rica has been involved with this latest dispute since last October, and lawyers for both sides have met to try to reach some settlement.

Piercy and association members are claiming that the Caja’s new health insurance figures are arbitrary numbers that have no bearing on regular methods for coming up with such numbers. “Where did these figures come from?” he said. “That’s all we’re trying to find out from them.”

If a court case proves necessary, Piercy estimated the potential proceedings would last at least six months. The association would be asking for individual case examples and testimonies from its members as part of its legal action.

The new rates for members provided by the association’s legal department are:

Pensionados over 55 years old must pay $75 per month. Those under 55 are charged $139 monthly.

Permanent residents over 55 would pay $63 per month. Those under 55 would pay $114. Rentistas over 55 would pay $252 per month, and those under 55 would pay $442 each month.

The legal department said it did not want to publish the figures for investors because the numbers were so high. It is estimated that investors are being asked to pay more than $600 every month to the Caja. Investors are also asked to declare a $3,300 per month income when they were never before required to prove any stream of income.

Affiliation in the Caja is a requirement for those foreigners who have been awarded residency by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. The association has about 1,000 foreigners who were members of its group plan with the Caja. Many other foreigners have other arrangements with the Caja and make payments based on their monthly income or with some other arrangement.

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