Cyprus offers high quality, low-cost health coverage. For EU citizens who fall into specific categories and foreigners who pay taxes in Cyprus, the island nation offers a public healthcare system. This system does not cover foreigners, however. If you are visiting Cyprus and expect to need medical care, or just want to be cautious, private health insurance is highly recommended.
How is the Quality of Care?
Cyprus has a very high quality of care, comparable to most other EU member states. In many areas, the care is superior to that offered in the United States and for a fraction of the cost. This has led to a rise in medical tourism to the island.
Doctors in Cyprus do not study medicine on the island. Instead, most choose to get their degree in either the UK or US, as both offer top-notch medical schools. The equipment is also generally state of the art, allowing doctors to perform all tests and procedures that you would expect at a hospital.
Quality is generally considered better in the southern portion of the island. This is due to the Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island. Doctors in both areas receive the same training, but facility quality is usually better in the south. Northern hospitals also do not accept public health care cards, so even citizens need private insurance in this area.
What Insurance Options are Available?
There are two main options when it comes to purchasing insurance for your trip to Cyprus. The first, and more expensive, option is to buy an international health insurance policy. These policies usually have a higher coverage amount and do not require you to pay upfront.
The second option available is to purchase insurance from a local insurance company. These options vary wildly, but generally, they have lower premiums, lower maximum coverage amounts, and require you to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement. Most insurance companies reimburse customers within one month.
Which One Should You Choose?
The option you choose largely depends on the length of your stay and how much coverage you anticipate needing. It is also worth taking into consideration if you can afford to pay out of pocket for unexpected medical expenses and wait for reimbursement.
For most foreigners on vacation, a policy from a local company offers all of the coverage you need. Even the lowest-priced plans provide a maximum coverage amount of 40,000 Euros per year and can be purchased month by month.