Being a prosperous European country Cyprus has a developed healthcare system. Evidence of that is Cypriots’ long life span – 78 years by men and 81 years by women (surely the cause of Cyprus residents’ longevity is not only good medicine but also healthy environmental conditions, wonderful climate and comfortable stress-free living – more detailed information is available on other pages of Section “Life in Cyprus”).
All the people who are employed in Cyprus (irrespective of whether they are nationals or residents of Cyprus) are involved in social insurance system. Employers pay social tax for their employees. In return the latter are entitled to social insurance. For those who have small income it is free. All the others pay for medical treatment at low rates. As to emergency aid it is free for everybody.
Foreigners – nationals of European Union who participated in social insurance programs in their homeland prior to moving to Cyprus are also entitled to free social insurance during a certain period of time.
Medical treatment is provided at public hospitals.
Private Health Insurance
Foreigners who are not nationals of the European Union and are not employed in Cyprus are recommended to apply to services of private health insurance. It is worth mentioning that many Cypriots and nationals of the EU also purchase private medical policies. It is due to the fact that there are no queues and waiting lists in private medicine. Besides the choice of clinics and medical specialists is much wider than in social insurance.
Insurance policies may be purchased from both local insurance companies and from international insurance market players. As a rule the former offer cheaper policies.
Insurance policies differ by two basic parameters:
- Some policies insure solely in-patient treatment in hospitals while others insure both in- and out-patient medical treatment (reimbursement of expenses for visits to specialists and medications prescribed by them)
- Policies differ by amounts of coverage that may vary from EUR several tens of thousands (this amount is sufficient to cover the majority of operations) to EUR several million (that covers any most complicated treatment). Coverage amounts for out-patient treatment may also vary (from EUR hundreds to EUR thousands per year)
What are medical insurance expenses? Let us take a 4-member family (a husband, a wife and two children). Comprehensive insurance (covering both in- and out-patient medical treatment) will amount to approximately €2.500/a year with small coverage amounts and around €3.000/a year with maximum coverage amounts. In case the family insures only in-patient treatment then it will pay around €1.000/a year with small coverage amounts and approximately €2.000/a year with maximum coverage amounts.
The cost of policy increases with the age of a person insured.
The process of expenses reimbursement by insurance companies proceeds in the following way:
- For in-patient treatment a clinic and an insurance company interact without a patient’s participation. The clinic bills an invoice to the insurance company for the administered therapy that is subsequently paid.
- Out-patient treatment. A person who has visited a doctor pays for the visit (approximately €50; in case the doctor makes diagnosis using medical devices the amount will rise to €100). The doctor prescribes required medications. The patient buys them in a drugstore with his/her own money. Then he/she takes the receipts from the doctor and the drugstore as well as the medical case report to the insurance company. Upon verification the latter will reimburse the incurred expenses to the patient.
It should be mentioned that not all the medical expenses are covered by insurance. Expenses for dental and beauty treatment as well as vision correction and etc. are not insured. Treatment of chronic diseases that developed by the patient prior to his/her getting ensured in Cyprus is not subject to insurance coverage either.
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