Extending Medicare to Mexico: Impact on Mexican-Born Beneficiaries

This report presents the results of a policy research project conducted during the 2009-2010 academic year that examined the availability of health coverage in Mexico for Mexican-born persons who are or soon will be Medicare beneficiaries. This project included developing a questionnaire in English and Spanish and administering it to a number of individuals in Dallas, Austin, and the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. This report also presents information on patterns of immigration to the U.S. from Mexico, changes in naturalization law, and a close look at a number of Congressional districts in greater Los Angeles and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The portability of Medicare benefits from the U.S. to Mexico is compared to the portability of benefits within the European Union. The report also examines coverage by both the Canadian and European health systems of emergencies abroad. The report concludes with a discussion of a possible Medicare waiver which would permit Medicare to pay for emergency medical services when beneficiaries were either visiting or retired there. This project was funded in part by the IC² Institute.