As of January 1, the Institute of Health for Welfare (Insabi), created by the government of López Obrador to replace the Popular Insurance, will offer free and unrestricted medical care and medicines for all its beneficiaries.
Insabi detailed that in order to be served, beneficiaries will not need to join or pay fees and will only need to present their INE credential, Unique Population Registration Key (CURP) or birth certificate.
In a statement the Institute reiterated that with these facilities, people «will no longer need to go to a module, join and receive a policy; they also do not have to pay annual fees to be taken care of in medical units as was the one before.» It will also not be necessary to present any membership policies.
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In order to access care, in addition to submitting any of these documents, beneficiaries must meet two other requirements: to be in national territory, and not to be a right holder in IMSS or Issste.
The submission of only these three requirements for free medical care is possible through the amendment of article 77a 7 of the General Health Law, which was published in the Official Journal of the Federation on 29 November.
Insabi begins functions on 1 January 2020 as a decentralized body of the Ministry of Health «and the services it will offer will be under criteria of universality, equality and inclusion».
The creation of the Insabi was approved by the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies last October to replace the Popular Insurance.
This is despite the being that some Members and specialists warned that the budget allocated to social programmes was «opaque» and «unworkable».
Judith Mendez, Health and Public Finance Coordinator at the Center for Economic Research and Budgeting (CIEP), noted that the projected budget for Insabi is a quarter of what is actually needed for such an initiative.
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This system, he explained, aims to serve the entire population that does not have social security and the most vulnerable population, more than 75 million people, unlimitedly, without any kind of quota or remuneration for services. In addition, it is intended that the workers of the Insabi have a permanent place and leave the fee scheme.
The specialist questioned «what money a health system will be financed for more than half of the national population, if we have a fiscal space in contraction, which at least since 2016 has increased from 6.6% of GDP to 2.4%».
For Insabi, the specialist added, the allocation of 40 billion pesos, money from the Popular Insurance Catastrophic Expense Fund, was projected. «But this source of funding is not recurring, it is a fund that will be used only once.»
In the face of this, CIEP published a paper stating that Insabi could cost from 162 billion pesos, in the most conservative scenario, to more than 900 mmdp.
«What you’re planning to allocate by 2020, the 40 mmdp, won’t be enough. It would take four times that budget to get to a first scenario,» she concluded.