by David Zanze

Cross-border health care combines innovation and resourcefulness to reduce health care costs for employers while creating more options for their employees. Because Western Growers Assurance Trust (WGAT) recognizes the significance the border region has on the agriculture industry, we designed a comprehensive Mexico Cross-Border Program to provide flexible medical and dental care options for our members.

Receiving health care across the border comes at a significantly reduced cost compared to stateside care. In fact, a study by Patients Beyond Borders has found that the cost-savings can range from 40% to 70% and that nearly 800,000 to 1 million Americans travel to Mexico to access more affordable care each year. A number of U.S. board-certified physicians have expressed their desire to offer their services in Mexico. Realizing this need, one of WGAT’s long-time Mexico providers is looking to the future with the construction of new state-of-the-art medical facilities.

Dr. Raul Payan, who has been a provider with WGAT for more than 30 years, was originally operating out of a facility with just one exam room and a reception area. Today, he operates out of a new facility—Osmed Servicios Medicos—which comprises multiple general exam rooms used by specialty care providers, an on-site pharmacy, lab and observation area. The facility is capable of providing x-ray services, mammograms, cardiac diagnostic tests and other minor procedures.

He has plans to construct a state-of-the-art hospital in San Luis, located across the border from Yuma, Arizona, which has gained the attention of several stateside investors, some of which include U.S. board-certified physicians. The facility will enable U.S. board-certified physicians to perform more affordable procedures in Mexico.

Experts in Cross-Border Health Care

For more than 50 years, WGAT has held contractual relationships with providers in Mexico. In fact, we were one of the first networks to provide cross-border health care. Our exclusive network includes licensed providers and medical facilities in several convenient locations, featuring the latest in state-of-the-art equipment.

With WGAT’s Mexico Cross-Border plans, employers can:

  • Improve employee health while offsetting U.S. healthcare costs
  • Provide employees with richer benefits, more choices, and flexible plan designs
  • Experience a seamless invoicing and payment process (WGAT plans are fully funded, so our accounts receive a monthly invoice and never have to worry about provider reimbursements)

Cross-border care is something worth considering for your employees. Affordable and quality care, geographic proximity, and cultural familiarity are comparative advantages for agricultural workers who live and work close to the border. Employees remain healthier by having convenient and more affordable access to care, and these benefits translate into significant savings for employers.

If you don’t have the WGAT plan and would like to know more about our contracted facilities across the border, contact Western Growers Insurance Services for more information to see how we can help you better manage your health care costs. You can reach a sales team member at (800) 333-4WGA.

In addition to serving as executive vice president of Western Growers Assurance Trust, David Zanze is the president of Pinnacle Claims Management, Inc.

[This article was featured in our Western Growers Shipper & Grower magazine. For a link to this issue, click here.]