Being a developed European country, Cyprus has a modern, functional healthcare system. As a result, Cypriots have a high life expectancy, 78 years old for men and 81 years old for women. Certainly, longevity of the residents of the island is not only the result of effective healthcare, but also of a healthy ecology, a favorable climate, traditional quiet and a laid-back way of life.
Those who work in Cyprus, regardless whether the employee of a company is a citizen of Cyprus or not, receive social insurance. Employers pay a social tax to the government for all their employees. Employees, as a result, have the right to apply for state medical care.
Persons with low income receive medical care free of charge. Other employees pay for medical treatment at low rates. In addition, emergency care is provided to everyone free of charge.
Foreigners, citizens of the EU, who, prior to moving to Cyprus had social care in their country, can also take advantage of free state medical care for a certain period of time.
Treatment is provided in state-run clinics.
Private medical healthcare
When it comes to foreigners, who are not citizens of the EU and who are not employed in Cyprus, they should apply for private health insurance. At the same time, many Cypriots and citizens of the EU also prefer to have private health insurance. This is explained by the fact that private clinics, usually, do not have queues and waiting lists, while the choice of medical institutions and specialized doctors is more extensive, than when using social insurance.
Insurance policies can be purchased from both Cypriot and International Health Insurance companies. Usually, in the first case, the policies are cheaper.
Insurance policies differ depending on the included parameters:
- It is possible to have an insurance policy that provides only inpatient treatment in hospitals, or, alternatively, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment, with the reimbursement of expenses for visiting specialized doctors and for the prescribed medication.
- It is possible to have an insurance policy with a varied insurance coverage amounts. It varies from several tens of thousands of euros (which is enough to cover most surgeries) and up to several million euros (covers any complex treatment). The coverage for outpatient treatment may also vary (from several hundred of euros and up to several thousand euros per year).
What are the costs of health insurance?
As an example, let’s take a family of 4 (husband, wife, and two children). The cost of a comprehensive insurance policy (including inpatient and outpatient treatment) will amount to around 2500 euros per year with relatively low coverage amount, and around 3000 euros per year with maximum coverage amount. If the family wishes to purchase an insurance policy only for inpatient treatment, its cost will amount to 1000 euros per year with relatively low coverage amount and around 2000 euros per year with maximum coverage amount.
As in all other countries, the cost of health insurance policy increases with the age of the insured person.
Reimbursement of expenses
How are expenses reimbursed by insurance companies? Let’s look at the general scheme.
- Inpatient treatment: the clinic and the insurance company work with each other, without the involvement of the patient. The clinic issues the insurer with an invoice for the provided treatment, which is paid by the insurer.
- Outpatient treatment: the person who visited a doctor, pays for the visits (around 50 euros for a check-up and up to 100 euros, if diagnostic equipment was used). The doctor prescribes all necessary medication, the patient purchases it with their own money at a pharmacy, and presents their insurance company with the bills from the doctor and for the medicine, as well as a doctor’s assessment of their case. After verifying the bills, the insurance company compensates the patient with the paid amounts.
It should be noted, that not all medical expenses are covered by insurance. What is beyond insurance coverage are dental and cosmetic treatment, correction of vision and others, treatment of chronic diseases that were identified prior to the start of the patient’s insurance policy in Cyprus.