European citizens that fall into specific categories enjoy the benefit of state-funded healthcare in Cyprus, with some limitations. On the northern portion of the island, state-funded healthcare is not available. This is due to the Turkish occupation of the northern areas. In the south, you can get free emergency services, but expect public services to be slower than privately funded hospitals due to higher demand. The public system also does not cover in-patient or out-patient procedures.
Benefits of the Private Healthcare System
While public hospitals accept private insurance, private hospitals do not take public healthcare cards. As a result, those with private insurance have a much more extensive range of hospitals to choose from.
Private insurance holders can also seek treatment at the private hospitals located in the Turkish occupied northern portion of the island. While care in the southern part of the island is generally considered superior, that does not mean that the northern hospitals are not fully equipped and state of the art. Doctors in both systems are usually trained overseas and receive the same quality education that you would expect in any other E.U. country.
Another significant benefit of the private healthcare system in Cyprus is treatment time. Most citizens of the island choose to use the public healthcare system, while wealthier citizens and foreigners generally use the private network. This equates to faster hospital visits and more time spent with the doctor when visiting a private hospital.
Choosing the Right Insurance
There are two main options when purchasing private insurance in Cyprus. First, you can buy an international health insurance policy. This is more expensive but covers the costs upfront. The second option is to purchase insurance from a Cyprus based company. These policies have lower premiums, but require you to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement.
Who Offers the Best Private Insurance in Cyprus?
Two of the top insurance providers in Cyprus are EuroLife and Atlantic Insurance. Both of these companies offer a wide range of policies from basic to extravagant. The most basic plans only cover public sector hospitals and clinics. These plans also usually have a more limited maximum coverage amount, averaging 40,000 Euros a year. For visitors, this is generally more than enough.
The more expensive plans offer full coverage in all hospitals, public and private, as well as clinics. These plans provide a maximum coverage amount of up to 2 million Euros.
Europeans making less than 20,000 Euros on average or households with three children making less than 35,000 Euros are covered by public insurance. People who make more than this need to purchase private insurance or pay out of pocket. Finding the right policy for you is a matter of balancing the benefits you need to the cost of the plan.