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Group health insurance in Cyprus in 2024. A complete guide on group health insurance in Cyprus.

Group Health Insurance in Cyprus

Group health insurance is a type of medical insurance plan offered by an employer to its employees and family members. It is an attractive health insurance option with many advantages compared to a standard individual policy. 

Like most standard health insurance, a group health insurance policy covers medical expenses for cases of disease or accidental bodily injury.

This article will guide you through all of the available group health insurance options in Cyprus.

We will help you choose the product that corresponds to your company’s needs, and we will also help you to save hundreds of euros by selecting the best plan for your employees.

Specifically, we will examine the following topics:

  • What is group health insurance?
  • How does group health insurance work in Cyprus?
  • Group health insurance coverages
  • Types of group health insurance in Cyprus
  • Group health insurance benefits
  • Group health insurance exclusions
  • Group health insurance for small businesses
  • Group health insurance cost
  • Group health insurance quotes
  • Affordable group health insurance in Cyprus
  • Best group health insurance in Cyprus

What is group health insurance?

Generally, group health insurance is a health plan an employer offers to employees (and their families) that provides health coverage.

A group health insurance policy covers medical expenses in case of disease or accidental bodily injury.

By default, group health insurance plans cover inpatient expenses (hospitalisation), and it usually comes with an option to cover outpatient expenses.

In Cyprus, health insurance is provided by two sources, government GESY and private insurance companies.

How does group health insurance work in Cyprus?

Assessment of the cost and defining the terms

Initially, a questionnaire should be completed by the Human Resources department of the applicant stating the following.

  • The number of employees and their dependents who require insurance.
  • The type of activities of the company.
  • Their gender, age, permanent residency, and medical history (past and pre-existing conditions).

Then you can choose whether you want outpatient, dental and vision coverage in addition to inpatient coverage (as inpatient coverage is part of all group health insurance plans).

You should also declare whether your employees spend a significant amount of time in Cyprus and whether they want to receive inpatient and outpatient medical treatment outside Cyprus. 

Medical card.

Each employee and dependent will receive a health card once the company acquires insurance. The medical card has the contract’s policy number on it that they can use during visits to clinics.

Today, most of the health insurance providers have stopped issuing a physical plastic card to contribute to the protection of the environment. Instead, they send a welcome email (letter) to all the employees of the company.

To this email is attached the certificate of insurance of each employee. The employees when they visit a clinic they should mention the name of the insurance company and the serial number of their insurance certificate.  


In some cases, the insurance company pays the expenses directly. In other cases, the patient pays for the expenses and then is compensated by the insurance company after providing their receipts and documentation. We will elaborate on the claim process below.

Termination of insurance.

Group medical plans usually have an age limit of 65 years old. Nevertheless, most of the providers provide an extension until the age of 70 in case of postponement of the retirement age. After the age of 65, insurance companies might require medical exams and might increase the premium. 

The coverage is also terminated when an employee leaves the company. 

Some insurance contracts allow one to acquire private medical insurance without waiting periods and medical exams after leaving a company.

Minimum employees for group health insurance

The minimum number of people who can be part of one group health insurance for employees policy is a minimum of 3 people for international insurance companies and 5 people for local insurance companies.

There is also the possibility to insure multiple companies with less than 3 employees if the sum of their employees is higher than 3 and if these companies are economically related (i.e. they have common shareholders or they are part of the same group). 

Group health insurance coverages

As mentioned above, group health insurance plans cover expenses related to a disease or an accident.

As explained below, some diseases and accidents might not be covered under certain conditions.

Group health insurance coverages are divided into two large categories:

  • Inpatient expenses
  • Outpatient expenses

Inpatient expenses

Inpatient expenses are the costs related to hospitalisation for a minimum of one night in a private clinic.

This cost includes all other expenses related to staying in the clinic, e.g. the diagnostic exams before an operation (i.e. x-rays and blood exams) and the exams after the operation (i.e. x-rays and rehabilitation).

Examples of inpatient expenses

  • Surgeries
  • ICU costs
  • Room rent charges
  • Costs of medicines & drugs
  • Operation theatre charges
  • Costs of implanted devices
  • Fees of medical professionals
  • Room boarding & nursing charges.

Pre & post hospitalisation expenses

Pre-hospitalisation expenses are medical care costs incurred by the insured before admission to a hospital (e.g. diagnostic tests).

Post-hospitalisation expenses are medical costs incurred by the insured after getting discharged from the hospital (e.g. physiotherapy, x-rays etc.). 

Most local Cypriot insurance companies do not include pre & post hospitalisation expenses in their standard packages. These coverages can be inlcuded with an additional cost. In the case they are not included they are covered by the outpatient expense coverage. 

Outpatient expenses

Outpatient involves the expenses that take place outside of a hospital.

These expenses include routine services such as check-ups, clinic visits, medicine prescriptions, physiotherapy sessions, minor operations that don’t require hospitalisation, home care and hospice care.

Types of group health insurance in Cyprus

There are two ways to classify medical insurance policies.

  1. Policies that cover only inpatient expenses (i.e. expenses that require hospitalisation) and policies that cover both inpatient and outpatient expenses.
  2. International group health insurance policies and local policies.

1st classification: inpatient and outpatient coverage

The key difference here is that inpatient expenses require hospitalisation while outpatient expenses do not.

Cost-wise, plans covering outpatient expenses as an addition are usually 20% - 55% more expensive than plans that cover only inpatient expenses.

We recommend that companies acquire premium group health insurance with international inpatient coverage but limited outpatient coverage since all employees living permanently in Cyprus should be registered in GESY (General Health System of Cyprus) and have access to free health care.

In general, outpatient expenses are also not so complicated; there typically aren’t long queues to be seen, and visiting a specialist doctor or clinic is usually unnecessary.

2nd classification: international group health insurance and local policies

Below, we will elaborate on the main differences between group health insurance plans provided by Cyprus-based and international insurance companies.

Cost: International companies are generally more expensive than local providers. They can be 20% – 250% more expensive, depending on the insurance plans we compare.

Limits of liabilities: International group health insurance provides higher coverage limits for outpatient and inpatient treatment.

Outpatient expenses: Another vital difference between local and international policies is that local policies do not cover outpatient expenses outside of Cyprus.

Some local companies advertise that they also cover international outpatient expenses, but to do that, they require the following:

  • The translation of all documents (if they are not already in English).
  • The client must pay the expenses upfront, and then he must collect all the original receipts, complete a claim form, and send the original documents to the insurance company. The insurance company will then compensate them if they are accepted.

The above is why we recommend companies with employees who often return to their country of origin and prefer their medical services acquire an international medical insurance plan.

Claim handling satisfaction: International health policies have a claim satisfaction ratio of 95%. Local health policies have a claim satisfaction ratio of 80%.

It’s known that international companies protect their reputation at all costs, while local providers try to save money where possible – this is especially apparent with obscure claims.

International companies’ claim satisfaction ratio is the main reason why their health plans are more expensive than local plans.

Claim handling procedure for group health insurance Cyprus

Local Cypriot companies - Outpatient expenses

For outpatient expenses, claimants must pay the clinic directly, collect all the relevant documentation (exams, payments, receipts, x-rays etc.) and present them to the insurance company.

Some companies require the original documents, while others accept scanned copies.

Additionally, you must complete a numbered claim form and provide all the relevant documentation to the insurance company.

The patient should complete the first part of the claim form, and the doctor should complete the other half.

Local Cypriot companies - Inpatient expenses

Local Cypriot companies cooperate with a network of local clinics. For inpatient expenses, you don’t need to complete any claim forms.

The inpatient expenses are paid directly by the insurance company.

If a local clinic does not belong to the insurance provider’s network, then you need to pay in advance, complete a claim form, and the insurance company will compensate you.

By default, clinics outside of Cyprus do not belong to the networks of Cypriot insurance companies.

International companies - Outpatient expenses

For outpatient expenses, claimants must pay the clinic directly, collect all the relevant documentation (exams, payments, receipts, x-rays etc.), and present them to the insurance company.

In this case, the insurance company does not require the original documents.

In most cases, there are no claim forms. International companies have online systems (with mobile application versions) where you can upload all the documentation without needing to write anything.

Some international providers also give you a “debit card” that can be used to pay for outpatient expenses up to €5,000. Although, this option is extremely rare, and the premiums of these insurance companies are significantly higher than others.

International companies - Inpatient expenses

International companies cooperate with an extensive network of clinics.

It is rare for patients to pay expenses in a clinic. Instead, the insurers directly pay the bills.

Letter of guarantee

In some cases, clinics in Cyprus might request a letter of guarantee from the insurance company before proceeding to ensure the operation can be paid for.

The clinics send the doctor’s report to the insurance company and the expected cost of the operation to ask them whether they are willing to fully cover the cost.

If the insurance company does not cover the whole cost of the operation, the patient has to pay the rest.

Clinics usually request a letter of guarantee from local insurance companies since international companies have a much larger capacity and a higher likelihood of paying claims.

Group medical insurance pre-existing conditions and exclusions

We will first explain the underwriting process to help you understand what might be excluded from your group medical insurance.

Underwriting is the assessment of the medical condition of each employee (or family member) and whether to insure them, under which conditions and what premium they will receive.

In simple terms, underwriting is the process of determining the premium amount and the terms of whether to insure someone or not.

There are three ways that insurance companies assess the medical history of the employees.

  1. Full Underwriting
  2. Moratorium
  3. Medical History Disregarded

Full underwriting

Full underwriting involves the insurance company requesting the employee’s entire medical history until the present day. Medical history includes past and pre-existing conditions.

Let’s analyse how insurance companies define past conditions to understand full underwriting.

Past conditions

Past conditions are conditions from which the patient fully recovered, i.e. they returned in the same condition as before the disease or the accident and had no further medication or treatment regarding this accident/disease.

For example, a patient injured their right knee ten years ago and fully recovered without any aftereffects (they don’t currently receive any medication or have any transplants, titanium plates, screws, etc.).

In that case, local providers might include an exclusion relating to the operation (i.e., they will exclude the right knee from any future accident or disease) or fully insure the patient (including the right knee) but with a higher premium.

On the other hand, international underwriters will probably insure you without any exclusions or higher premium.

With full underwriting, employees with severe pre-existing conditions will be excluded from the coverage regardless of whether the insurer is local or international.

For employees with non-serious past and pre-existing conditions, international companies will be more lenient.

In addition, healthy employees over 50 years old will not be required to provide updated medical exams with international insurance companies.

Full underwriting is the strictest version of underwriting when it comes to assessing a group of employees for a group health insurance policy.


Moratorium means that the insurance company is only interested in the past and current conditions in the last five years.

If there were no serious conditions in the last five years, the insurance company will insure without any loading (i.e. increased premium in comparison with the standard prices) and will disregard any incidents prior to the last five years.

Group health insurance Cyprus, current conditions 1

If you have suffered from a medical condition in the last five years, international insurance companies will insert some temporary restrictions in the coverage of your contract concerning this problem.

For example, if you had an operation on your right knee one year ago, you might be told that they will insure you without any loadings but any diseases or accidents regarding the right knee will be excluded for the first 2 - 5 years of the contract.

Group health insurance Cyprus, current conditions 2

Most individuals suffer from one of these conditions after their 40s: high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, of which high cholesterol is the least critical.

International companies will disregard high cholesterol, while local companies will require medical exams and might insert a loading (i.e. increased premium).

International companies are more lenient than local companies about high blood pressure and high sugar.

Local companies refuse to insure 50% or more applicants with high blood sugar (diabetes) than international companies, and they will require updated medical exams.

International companies are more likely to insure you without loading for high blood pressure.

On the other hand, local companies will include loading or might even refuse to insure you if your blood pressure is extremely high.

Moratorium is only provided by international companies.

Medical History Disregarded Coverage

Medical History Disregarded (MHD) is a type of group health insurance contract which provides coverage for a company’s employees regardless of their health status.

The insurer won’t ask to delve into the employee’s medical records, nor will they discriminate based on their medical history.

It will provide coverage without question and inevitably insure people with pre-existing conditions.

Practically speaking, employees with cancer, diabetes, and serious health concerns will be insured and not excluded under this scheme.

Even though people with pre-existing conditions will be insured, the pre-existing conditions and contract exclusions will still apply (i.e. pre-existing conditions are excluded from the coverage).

Employees with pre-existing conditions will be covered for accidents and diseases not related to their pre-existing conditions.

Medical History Disregarded is exclusively provided by international insurance companies. Also, this coverage is only offered to companies that employ more than ten employees.

MHD underwriting premiums are generally 10% - 15% more expensive than full underwriting.

Local companies are generally more strict than international companies when assessing individuals with past and pre-existing/current medical conditions.

It’s important to note that the higher the number of employees being insured, the higher the company’s bargaining power.

For example, if a company wants to insure more than 50 employees, the insurance company will probably accept people with pre-existing or past conditions.


All insurance contracts, whether from an international or a local company, have some universal standard exclusions (i.e. obesity, AIDs, obesity, cosmetic and plastic surgery).

Local insurance companies have some additional exclusions. For example, most local companies do not cover ophthalmologists and dentists.

Ability to transfer a contract from one company to another

International companies provide the opportunity to transfer a contract from another provider, local or international, without a waiting period (i.e. the amount of time an insured has to wait before some or all of their coverage comes into effect).

For example, some conditions, such as a meniscus tear, tonsillitis, and degenerative disk disease, include a waiting period and are not covered in the first six months of a new contract.

Tailor-made policies

International group health insurance plans are more flexible than local plans. You can add or remove coverages from international plans (e.g. dental, optician, childbirth benefits).

Group health insurance benefits

There are many benefits to group health insurance for employees, which include the following.

  • Creating a give-and-take situation.
  • Increasing trust and faith in the company.
  • Developing attractive remuneration packages.
  • Covering the uncertainty employees are facing.
  • Creating a financially secure atmosphere before and after retirement.
  • Investing in the HR department for higher productivity and efficiency.
  • Creating a comparative advantage due to positive HR management.
  • Protecting the standard of living of the employees and their families.
  • Recruiting and attaining skilful employees, working for the company’s success.
  • Verifying the interest of the company in the long-term interests of its employees.

Group health insurance coverages in Cyprus (analytically)

Business group health insurance in Cyprus typically includes the following.

  • X-ray or radioactive isotope therapy.
  • X-ray examinations and laboratory tests.
  • Services of a registered graduate nurse.
  • Services of licensed physicians or surgeons.
  • Anaesthetic, oxygen and administration.
  • Charges for room and board in a private clinic.
  • Rental of a wheelchair, hospital bed or iron lung.
  • Blood or blood derivatives and their administration.
  • Drugs and medicines that require a written prescription.
  • Licensed ambulance services to or from a local hospital.
  • Casts, splints, trusses, braces, crutches and surgical dressings.
  • Services of a licensed dentist for accidental injury to natural teeth through violent external means.
  • Artificial limbs and eyes, when necessitated by accidental bodily injuries or diseases occurring while an insured is covered under a specific plan.
  • Actinotherapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment as an inpatient or outpatient.
  • Second medical opinion.

Group health insurance exclusions in Cyprus (analytically)

Business group health insurance in Cyprus typically excludes the following.

  • Preventive vaccinations.
  • Payment for transportation charges other than local licensed ambulance services.
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS), AIDS-related complex or infection by HIV.
  • Self-inflicted injury while sane or insane, treatment of chronic alcoholism, drug addiction, nervous or mental disorders.
  • Psychiatric treatment, rest cures, sanitaria or custodial care or periods of quarantine or isolation.
  • Injury or illness resulting from insurrection or war, whether war is declared or not, or participation in a riot, strike or civil commotion.
  • Any fertility test and/or treatment, including hormone treatment, examinations, and any procedures related hereto.
  • Cosmetic surgery or treatment, unless necessitated by an accidental injury occurring while the insured is covered under a certain rider.
  • General health examinations (routine check-ups), dental work or treatment, including all expenses charged for any sickness of the oral cavity relating to teeth and/or gums unless necessitated by an accidental injury, examination or treatment related to the refractive eye impairments, expenses for the supply or fitting of eyeglasses or purchase of contact lenses or hearing aids.

Group health insurance cost

The cost of a group health insurance policy depends on the following factors:

  • The type of company activities.
  • The number of employees and their dependents.
  • The age and gender of employees and dependents.
  • The medical condition of the employees and dependents (pre-existing and past conditions).
  • The limits of coverage for both inpatient and outpatient expenses.
  • Whether the plan includes outpatient expenses.
  • Whether you picked an international or local plan.
  • The type of underwriting (full underwriting, moratorium, medical history disregarded).
  • Whether the plan consists of additional benefits (maternity, dental, ophthalmologist etc.

Affordable group health insurance

Pitsas Insurances is the largest provider of group health insurance contracts in Cyprus.

Our company cooperates with the largest international underwriters globally and every underwriter based locally in Cyprus.

We can obtain the most profitable deals for our clients due to our longstanding and positive working relationships and the sheer number of contracts we handle.

We aim to guide our clients to pick the best insurance package that satisfies their needs and budget constraints.

Save on group health insurance Cyprus

There are many ways to save on the group health insurance contracts. We suggest the following ways to acquire cheap group health insurance Cyprus.

  • Increase the policy’s deductible.
  • Pick low limits of insurance coverage.
  • Choose a local provider to insure you.
  • Do not pick outpatient expenses (employees are likely registered with GESY in Cyprus).
  • Choose a full underwriting process instead of moratorium and medical history disregarded if all the employees are relatively healthy.

Best group health insurance in Cyprus

Pitsas Insurances can find you the best group health insurance for employees.

We cooperate with more international underwriters than any other insurance company in Cyprus, enabling us to find you the best deals.

We can also help tailor the best group health insurance policy to meet your needs.

Group health insurance Cyprus

Our experienced insurance consultants analyse your needs and budget constraints and try to find the best option for your business.

Speak with one of our insurance agents today to secure your business group health insurance with ease.

Group health insurance for small businesses

Thousands of small businesses are registered every year in Cyprus.

No matter the size of your business, protecting your employees’ health is an investment for higher productivity and efficiency.

Group health insurance small business

At Pitsas Insurances, we insure businesses of all sizes and provide dedicated group health insurance for SMEs.

We adjust the terms of our packages based on the needs of the employees to avoid the overcharges of fixed terms.

Group health insurance quotes

Pitsas Insurances is one of the oldest insurance companies in Cyprus and has been operating since 1985.

We pride ourselves on our quality of services, and as such, we hold more local and international awards for our services than any other insurance company in Cyprus.

We are the largest provider of group health insurance contracts in Cyprus as we cooperate with the largest international underwriters around and with all of the underwriters based in Cyprus.

Some of the largest international companies on the island are part of our clientele.

Specifically, these clients are international software developers, investment and financial corporations, law firms, and shipping and construction companies.

Group health insurance Cyprus

See our website to find out what our group health insurance can do for you.

Complete our questionnaire online, and a licensed insurance consultant will get back to you soon.

Pitsas Insurances Team

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Contact [email protected] or
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