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jul 30 2009

Innovation: Mexico City offering free health insurance to visitors

In a first-of-its-kind move, Mexico City will now automatically cover tourists with free health insurance for emergencies. If you're a tourist and you come down with a disease or have an accident while visiting the city, you are automatically covered.

A new "Tourist Assistance Card" gives travelers staying in the city's hotels free coverage "for emergency medical care, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and ambulance services," reports LATimes.com.

To be sure, other countries in the world with nationalized health care, such as France and the United Kingdom, will treat visitors in their hospitals on an urgent care basis. But Mexico City is the first in the world to set up a system specifically to assist visitors with obtaining medical care for problems that arise during their trip. For example, a call center will have nurses who speak English, French, German, Portuguese, and (of course) Spanish. A modest payment will be charged for some services, and there are rules to prevent people from abusing the city's generosity.

For info, check out the Medical Care and Assistance section of the city's tourism website.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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