Medical insurance in Cyprus in 2024. Best medical insurance in Cyprus.
Medical Insurance Cyprus
Medical insurance provides you with a financial safety net in acute situations and critical emergencies, but how can it benefit you, and what does medical insurance cover in Cyprus?
In this guide to medical insurance plans, we will examine what you need to know to make the best insurance purchase.
We will assess the types of medical insurance available and their benefits to help you find the best medical insurance in Cyprus.
In addition, we will compare private medical insurance with the publicly accessible General Health System of Cyprus and aim to determine whether medical insurance is a wise choice to meet your needs.
We will also provide tips about how to save money by choosing the right medical insurance plan.
Table of contents
- What is medical insurance?
- Medical insurance coverage
- Types of medical insurance in Cyprus
- Medical insurance deductible
- Benefits of medical insurance
- Medical insurance for family
- How much is medical insurance in Cyprus?
- Cheap medical insurance
- Best medical insurance
- Compare medical insurance policies
What is medical insurance?
Medical insurance is provided by an insurance company to cover an insured’s medical expenses and typically covers disease or bodily injury accidents.
Sometimes, the insurance provider pays for these medical expenses upfront.
In other cases, the patient covers the medical expenses and receives a refund of costs from the insurers after providing them with the necessary receipts and documentation.
Some insurance providers will require a pro-form invoice to determine whether they will cover a medical operation that is due to take place.
Cyprus medical insurance
Two sources in Cyprus provide medical insurance:
- Government Initiative, The General Healthcare System (GESY)
- Private insurance companies
To read about The General Healthcare System in Cyprus, see here.
The following groups of people can acquire medical policies:
- Individuals (individual medical insurance)
- Families (family medical insurance)
- Companies (for their employees and dependents)
To learn more about group medical insurance, see our website.
Medical insurance coverage
Cyprus medical insurance covers expenses related to diseases or accidents. However, there are exceptions, and only specific cases of disease or accidents are covered.
Certain diseases and accidents might not be covered under certain conditions.
Moreover, medical insurance coverages are divided into two categories:
- Inpatient expenses
- Outpatient expenses
Inpatient expenses cover a patient’s hospitalization for at least one night in a private clinic (i.e., for a medical operation).
In addition, inpatient expenses cover all expenses involved with the treatment and overnight stays in the clinic.
For example, suppose you had to stay in the hospital for one night for an operation. Everything will be covered, including the diagnostic tests before the operation (e.g., x-rays) and the exams after the operation (e.g., rehabilitation physiotherapy).
Examples of inpatient expenses:
- ICU costs
- Room boarding
- Nursing charges
- Room rent charges
- Operation theatre charges
- Costs of implanted devices
- Prices of medicines and drugs
- Fees of medical professionals
Pre and post-hospitalization expenses
Pre-hospitalization expenses include the medical costs incurred by the insured before hospital admission (e.g., ambulance services and transport costs.)
Post-hospitalization expenses include the medical costs incurred after the patient’s discharge—for example, rehabilitation and post-operation aftercare.
Outpatient expenses include any of the patient’s medical costs associated with healthcare that takes place outside the hospital, as detailed below.
Examples of outpatient expenses
- Minor medical operations not requiring hospitalization
- Home care
- Hospice care
- Visits to clinics
- Outpatient long-term care services
- Routine services such as check-ups
Types of medical insurance in Cyprus
Health insurance policies are classified in two ways.
- Policies that only cover inpatient expenses (i.e., hospitalization expenses) and policies that cover both inpatient and outpatient expenses.
- International medical insurance policies and local health insurance policies.
Inpatient and outpatient coverage
As noted, inpatient expenses include any costs associated with hospitalization. Outpatient expenses include any other fees that don’t involve hospitalization.
Plans covering additional outpatient expenses are generally 15% to 30% more expensive than those only covering inpatient expenses. Therefore, this option is best suited to people with specific needs.
Private medical insurance Cyprus and the need for outpatient expenses
Outpatient expenses are commonly straightforward, and the General Health System of Cyprus’s services are usually satisfactory.
Anyone can register with the General Health System of Cyprus if they are a legal resident and worker in Cyprus who pays social insurance contributions.
However, acquiring private medical insurance covering inpatient expenses is advisable even if you are registered with the GESY.
Most private medical insurance inpatient plans beneficially include an option to add coverage for “surgical operations not requiring hospitalization” or outpatient surgery (also called same-day, ambulatory, or office-based surgery).
This inexpensive benefit guarantees the insured won’t pay out-of-pocket costs for a minor operation that doesn’t require hospitalization. In addition, it is convenient and allows them to recover at home comfortably.
Comparison between international and local medical insurance policies
We will compare the main differences between Cyprus’ international and local medical insurance policies below.
Generally, international companies are more expensive than local ones, and the prices can be between 20% to 250% higher, depending on the coverages and insurance plans.
Limits of Coverage
Overall, international policies provide higher coverage limits for both outpatient and inpatient treatment.
- The annual coverage for local companies varies from €100,000 to €2 million.
- The annual coverage for international companies varies from €300,000 to €6 million.
- The annual coverage for local companies is €5,000 on average.
- The annual coverage for international companies is €250,000.
The main difference between local and international medical insurance is that local policies do not cover outpatient expenses outside of Cyprus.
Some local companies offer international outpatient expenses, but it is more complicated to acquire these policies.
The local company will need translated documents (if they are not already in English). The expenses must also be paid upfront. The insurer will then compensate the insured if the application is accepted.
This is why it’s advisable for expatriates who often return to their country of origin (and prefer its medical services) to acquire an international medical insurance plan.
Local providers can only insure people who are primarily and permanently residing in Cyprus.
As a guideline, most companies agree that living in a country for six months or more implies permanent residency.
If you provide local insurers with ongoing expenses from your country of origin, they will have reason to be suspicious.
International companies can insure you anywhere, regardless of where you permanently reside, with the exception of a sanctioned country (i.e., Iran, Venezuela, Afghanistan).
International medical plans have a claim satisfaction ratio of 95%, whereas local companies in Cyprus have a claim satisfaction ratio of 80%.
Regarding the claims process, international companies are more interested in protecting their reputation, whereas local providers would rather save money, especially with dubious claims.
Local companies usually require original documents of all expenses during a claims process (i.e., medication receipts, payments for doctor visits, etc.) and a completed claim form.
In contrast, international companies only require scanned documents. They may also disclude an application form.
Moreover, local insurance companies require a pro forma invoice stating a planned operation’s costs, while international insurance companies do not.
- 80% claim satisfaction ratio
- Strict when handling claims to save costs
- Require original documents of all expenses and a completed claim form
- Need a completed pro forma invoice stating the cost of a planned operation
- 95% claim satisfaction ratio
- Concerned with their reputation when handling claims
- Only require scanned documents and may not need a completed claim form
- Do not require a pro forma invoice stating the cost of a planned operation
Medical insurance pre-existing conditions and exclusions
When you apply for Cyprus medical insurance, underwriters will assess the past and current condition of your health.
The underwriting process involves an assessment of your medical condition to determine whether you are eligible for medical insurance, the policy’s terms, and conditions, and finally, determine how much your premiums will be.
Local companies are generally stringent when assessing individuals with past, pre-existing, and temporary current medical conditions.
Past and pre-existing conditions
Past conditions are defined as conditions from which the patient fully recovered, i.e., leaving the medical treatment in the same condition as prior to any treatment, and does not receive any aftercare — medication or treatment regarding this accident or disease.
For example, suppose a patient injured their right elbow 10 years ago and fully recovered without any aftereffects (i.e., they did not receive any aftercare – or medication or have any transplants, titanium plates, screws, etc.).
In that case, local providers will likely put an exclusion relating to the operation (i.e., they will exclude the right elbow from any future accident or disease), or they will fully insure the patient (including the right elbow). Still, the premiums will be higher than average costs.
On the contrary, international underwriters will ask the patient whether they had any critical diseases (i.e., cancer, stroke, etc.) or accidents in the last two to five years (most commonly, depending on the insurance company). If the answer is no, previous medical conditions are of no concern, and they will insure the individual without any loading (i.e., higher premiums compared with the standard).
Medical insurance Cyprus, current conditions scenario 1
If a patient experienced a serious or critical health condition in the last two to five years, international insurance companies would insert some temporary restrictions concerning this condition in their contract.
For example, if the patient had an operation on their elbow one year ago, the patient will be insured without any loadings. However, any future accidents regarding the elbow will be excluded in the contract’s first three to five years.
Medical insurance Cyprus, current conditions, scenario 2
Past 40 years of age, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol are the conditions most individuals suffer from. Out of these issues, high cholesterol is the least critical.
International companies usually disregard high cholesterol as an issue, while local companies require medical exams and might insert a policy loading (i.e., increased premium).
International companies are more lenient than local companies for high blood pressure and blood sugar. In contrast, local companies refuse to insure 50% or more applicants with high blood sugar than international companies, and they require current medical exams.
Most international companies will likely insure you without loading for high blood pressure, but local companies often include a policy loading or might even refuse to insure you if your blood pressure is very high.
Medical insurance exclusions
All insurance contracts, whether from an international or a local company, have certain universal exclusions as standard, i.e., obesity, AIDs, cosmetic and plastic surgery.
Local insurance companies have additional exclusions, including ophthalmologist and dentist expenses.
However, some international companies can insure people who do dangerous or risky sports (for example, skydiving) and provide pregnant women with coverage for diseases and accidents that are not directly related to pregnancy.
Pre-existing conditions for those over 50
Those older than 50 or those with pre-existing conditions must provide supporting documentation.
When you apply for medical insurance, local companies will require current medical exams and translations of all documentation presenting your medical history.
International companies will only require your latest medical reports. Translations are usually not required, and the insurers often pay the clinics directly, so you don’t have to pay upfront costs.
Prepayment of medical bills
International companies pay for all medical operations in advance.
In some cases, for more complicated operations, international companies might need an analysis from the clinic presenting a breakdown of the operation’s expenses.
Local providers might require you to pay upfront for your medical expenses. They will then refund you this cost once you have provided them with the payment invoices and receipts.
Specifically, local providers cooperate with some clinics in Cyprus that they pay directly.
For all other clinics, the insurer will require you to pay upfront and then compensate you once you provide all necessary documentation as proof of purchase.
International medical plans are more flexible than local plans, as they are easily customizable, and you can add or remove coverages (e.g., optician, dental, childbirth benefits).
Medical insurance deductible
Your medical insurance deductible is the amount of money you must routinely pay out of your own pocket for eligible healthcare services before your policy covers the costs.
For example, if your policy has a €1,000 annual deductible and a covered procedure, you need costs €3,000. As the patient, you will pay the €1,000 deductible, and the insurance company will pay the remaining €2,000.
Medical insurance plans in Cyprus can also include a deductible that can reduce the overall cost of your policy.
Suppose you are registered with the General Healthcare System in Cyprus. In that case, we generally recommend a policy with a deductible since it’s possible to receive general healthcare and minor operations through GESY’s services.
However, we strongly recommend a policy without excess if you are not registered with the GESY.
Benefits of medical insurance
The benefits of private medical insurance surpass the extent of what public medical insurance and the GESY can provide.
In summary, the benefits of private health insurance Cyprus
- No queues
- International Coverage
It is relatively easy to schedule an appointment within 24 hours at one of the many non-GESY clinics in Cyprus. In contrast, it can take more than one week to schedule an appointment with a GESY-registered doctor.
This isn’t a concern for most outpatient expenses as doctors are readily available in any clinic, even though they might not be your preferred doctor.
However, we cannot say the same for inpatient expenses. Depending on the operation, there are queues of two to four months to see the best GESY doctors.
It can be a critical issue waiting so long to see a GESY doctor if you have a health concern, especially if it is serious.
If you don’t have medical insurance in an emergency, settling for any available yet unspecialized doctor can be an issue.
Private medical insurance is tax-deducted. Specifically, medical insurance premiums can be deducted from the taxable income, given that it does not exceed 1.5% of the taxable income.
For example, if your taxable income is €30,000, then 1.5% of your taxable income is €450.
If the annual cost of your medical insurance is €600, only €450 is eligible for tax exemptions and deducted from your taxable income.
If clinics or doctors in Cyprus cannot operate, the GESY can provide the opportunity for international coverage.
Patients are not eligible for international coverage if the operation can be performed in Cyprus, regardless of the doctors’ experience level or the availability of the latest technology.
If you are eligible for an operation abroad, you might be waiting in a long queue for up to six months.
Medical insurance for family
You can insure your whole family under one medical insurance policy. Fortunately, it’s a straightforward process. Moreover, the terms of family medical insurance are exactly the same as individual medical insurance.
The advantages of medical insurance plans for family
- Buying family medical insurance plans is cheaper — the annual contract issuance fee is payable only once for one contract. It’s typically more expensive to buy individual policies per family member.
- You are usually encouraged to insure each family member and receive a small discount when purchasing a family plan.
The disadvantages of family medical insurance
- It can be difficult to afford family health insurance. Due to financial difficulties, you might be unable to maintain your medical insurance plan.
- Opting out of a policy is obligatory once you become a student (above 25). Falling ill before 25 might lead to excess premiums or insurance rejection. In addition, you should go through a full revaluation (i.e., underwriting) once you reach 25.
How much is medical insurance in Cyprus?
When searching for medical insurance in Cyprus, you might be wondering how much does medical insurance cost?
The costs of medical insurance plans are dependent on certain factors.
Medical insurance costs in Cyprus are calculated based on the following:
- Whether the plan is local or international.
- Limits of coverage for inpatient and outpatient expenses.
- Age. The higher the age, the higher the cost of the insurance.
- Whether the plan includes outpatient expenses (i.e., doctor visits).
- Smoking and drinking status, as both increase the cost of premiums.
- Medical history. Pre-existing conditions can lead to higher premiums.
- Medical history of parents. Pre-existing conditions, premature death, and critical illnesses can increase premiums.
- Gender. Men usually have a higher mortality rate – therefore, pay higher premiums.
- Family or individual plan. Family plans are always cheaper per person than individual plans.
- Weight. Being overweight or obese, according to the BMI index, increases premiums.
- Dangerous and extreme sports (i.e., bungee jumping, skydiving, mountain climbing, diving, and canyoning).
- Additional benefits (i.e., riders) also increase premiums (i.e., life insurance, critical illness coverage, permanent disability benefits.
Average medical insurance Cyprus cost
As mentioned, the overall cost of medical insurance depends on numerous factors.
The table below shows the average medical insurance cost in Cyprus.
Cheap medical insurance
There are numerous ways to ensure you find cheap medical insurance.
Follow our handy tips below to find out how to find affordable medical insurance.
- Search for local insurance providers
- Read the full terms of each insurance contract
- Compare the plans of local insurance providers
Medical Insurance Cyprus
You can find cheap medical insurance plans in Cyprus through local insurers. By default, local insurance companies are more affordable than international ones.
There isn’t a significant difference between local insurance companies’ medical plans in Cyprus as they are highly competitive.
If there is a significant difference in premiums between the insurers, the terms of their policies are significantly different.
As always, ensure you understand each contract’s full terms before you choose a policy.
Even though the cheapest policy might seem desirable, we recommend reducing the cost of a desirable medical insurance policy instead in the following ways:
- Use high excess amounts.
- Pay annually, as you can receive more than a 5% discount.
- If you have a family, purchase a family package instead of individual plans.
- Opt for a plan without outpatient expenses if registered in the GESY.
Best medical insurance
The best medical insurance plan is subjective, as each individual has different needs, targets, and budget constraints.
Your needs will determine what the best medical insurance plan is for you.
Medical Insurance Cyprus
To find the best medical insurance, communicate with one of our specialists (700 70 500 or [email protected]), who can help you compare medical insurance policies from local and international providers.
Compare medical insurance policies
Pitsas Insurances is the largest medical insurance provider for expatriates in Cyprus.
Talk to one of our specialists today. They will help you compare the best medical insurance policies from local and international providers.
What we offer you:
- 35 years of insurance expertise
- Flexible pricing to suit your budget
- Family packages and whole-life policies
- Coverage for certain pre-existing conditions
- Great variety of local and international contracts
- Access to prestigious clinics in Cyprus and abroad
- Quick settlement of claims
Medical insurance quote
It’s advisable to understand how the healthcare system works in Cyprus before you purchase medical insurance.
Before obtaining quotes for medical insurance, see our article about the GESY here.
We firmly support the GESY at Pitsas Insurances but believe basic private healthcare is indispensable.
If you want to receive quotations from the best local and international providers, visit our website here.