Beginning January 2014, the age limit for voluntary membership in Ecuador’s Social Security heatlh care system will be eliminated. Currently, the program will not cover those over the age of 60.
The policy change opens the door to foreign retirees who are legal residents of Ecuador who are older than 60, as well as Ecuadorians who have not been part of the national Social Security system.
The new rules also eliminate the pre-existing medical condition retrictions that raised the monthly premium for some voluntary members and excluded others altogether.
Fernando Cordero, chairman of Ecuador’s Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (IESS) announced the change on Thursday, saying the intent is to provide health care to as many Ecuadorians as possible. “Besides expanding membership in the program, the new rules will also reduce paperwork requirements for all users,” Cordero said.
According to Cordero, the voluntary health care program currently has about 45,000 members, including about 400 foreign residents.
Cordero said that details of the new program, including monthly cost for voluntary membership will be forthcoming. Currently, voluntary members pay between $62 and $90 for health coverage but the amount is expected to increase.
Credit: CNN News, www.cnn.com