For Costa Ricans the possibility of dying prematurely before reaching 70 years old of cancer, heart problems, diabetes or other chronic diseases is 11.1 percent. This is the lowest figure in Latin America and second in the Americas, only behind Canada (9.8). As a matter of fact, Costa Rica is ranked nineteenth in the world in this category. Panama was in second place with regard to fewer premature deaths in Central America. This information is from an extensive report titled World Health Statistics that was published by the World Health Organization (la Organización Mundial de Salud).
Said report studied the life expectancy in different counties around the world and contributing factors such as sanitary conditions, availability of vaccinations, birth control methods, education and other variables.
Why did Costa Rica do so well in the survey? First, the country counts on a cradle-to-grave public health care system. Although the system is not perfect, it guarantees that all of those who belong to it including retired expats, will receive treatment for chronic diseases. In Costa Rica people are not excluded from receiving treatment due to preexisting conditions or because their medical coverage has run out.
When thinking about retiring abroad health care is of paramount importance. Costa Rica offers both public and private health care options for expat retirees.