WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE CAJA?

There have been many speculations regarding the increased rates.

As you may have heard, the new hot topic in the EXPAT community are the new rates from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (so called “CAJA”), for which every applicant must register to obtain the residency in Costa Rica. We want to take the time to explain how everything will work out based on the latest CAJA rules, and to make sure we clear out all of the possible doubts. Following we explain how this will work out:

To whom and when do the new rates of CAJA apply to?

  • These new rates will be applicable to every person who applies for a temporary residency based on any category that requires receiving a monthly income for an activity or an independent condition (Rentista/Retiree/Investor). It will start being applicable to every person who registers before the CAJA, starting on March 16th, 2022.
  • Even if you applied for or have been granted Residency prior to that date, if you did not apply for your health insurance before the CAJA prior to March 16th, 2022, you will be paying the new fees.

How can I have an estimate of how much I will be paying?

  • For those who apply as Investors, it is hard to predict how much it would be, as this will highly be based on the specific income of the Investor and type of Investment made. Those elements will be analyzed by the official of the CAJA at the moment of the registration, who will consequently calculate the applicable rate based on the income bracket.
  • For those who apply as Rentistas, based on the monthly stable income that they will be receiving of US$2,500, which is the required minimum as condition to obtain the residency, they shall pay an estimate of US$348* per month for the CAJA (in case of families, that fee will also include direct family members).
  • For those who are applying as Retiree, based on the minimum amount of the pension of US$1,000, they can expect to pay an estimate of US$135* per month (in case of families, that fee will also include direct family members).
  • *As a reminder, these are just estimates we calculated based on the minimum amounts stated above and on the corresponding applicable income brackets published by the CAJA. The final decision will entirely depend on the competent CAJA official that will review your case, once you go for registration.

Why did the CAJA rates increase?

  • Last year, on September 21st, 2021, the Costa Rican official gazette published a reform on the Regulation of Migrants Insurance. A whole chapter was dedicated to this topic explaining how the new rates shall be calculated as a consequence of the inclusion of additional elements in contributions.
  • The SEM was one of the contributions that were added, which stands for sickness and maternity insurance (in Spanish, “Enfermedad y Maternidad”).
  • The IVM is the second contribution added as mandatory for all cases, and this stands for disability, old age, and death (in Spanish, “Invalidez, Vejez y Muerte”).
  • Prior to the reform, the only contribution that was included in the CAJA rates was the IVM, but only in some cases and on a voluntary basis. Now they have added both of these contributions as mandatory, so every person has to pay them without exception.

At CRIBO, we try our best to keep our clients informed on news like this and keep everything clear, while at the same time trying to avoid spreading alarm. Please feel free to contact us if other questions arise, that were not answered in this article. You can reach out to us at: contact@cribo.cr

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