Health insurance quotes in Portugal
Compare your health insurance with some of the best known medical insurance companies
The American health services company serves expats and globally mobile individuals in more than 200 international jurisdictions. Cigna Global’s policies are easily customised to coverage and cost requirements and customers can pick from three coverage levels, modular plans and several cost-share options.
With access to over 1.2m medical providers worldwide, Bupa Global ensures expats have the same coverage everywhere. As a leading international health insurer, the UK-headquartered company settles directly with providers, so its 15.5 million customers don’t pay upfront and can consult specialists without seeing a GP.
The Munich-headquartered financial services company offers international health insurance plans for expatriate students, couples, professionals, and families living in Portugal. Depending on the policy, Allianz Care covers everyday medical expenses, emergency treatment, dental, maternity, surgery, and outpatient fees.
Portugal has a subsidized national public healthcare system, the SNS, which is funded mainly through social security contributions but available to all residents. You can receive treatment at a GP surgery or a hospital as well as a range of other services if you have a residence permit or a social security card. Most but not all costs are covered. There is also private healthcare available, which can be covered by private medical insurance.
You will need private health insurance in Portugal if you are a non-resident or visiting short-term. Many residents also purchase private insurance to cover 100% of costs and to give them access to wider and better services. Portugal’s state healthcare system is good but the quality can vary. Private health insurance will give you access to private services which typically have better facilities and shorter waiting times.
If you choose private medical insurance in Portugal, make sure you research the different providers and packages on offer so that you can find one most suited to your needs. Private policies and costs can vary greatly. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask:
1. Does the package cover family members?
All family members of residents are covered by the public health scheme but, if you want the same family coverage with a private insurer, you’ll have to shop around to see what family offers and discounts are available.
2. Are there any restrictions, limitations or exclusions on the policy, e.g. relating to age or pre-existing conditions?
Most private insurers will require you to undergo a health assessment before deciding whether to offer you a policy and calculating your premiums. It can be difficult to get coverage for some conditions if you’re over 55 or if you have a history of medical illness. It’s best to find out what might not get covered before signing up.
3. What’s a coverage gap and will I be affected?
Whereas private health insurance can be purchased in advance of traveling to Portugal, accessing public services is dependent on becoming a resident. You’ll need a residence permit or social security card to apply for a Portuguese healthcare card that entitles you to healthcare. This can take a few weeks, meaning you might not be covered if you’re from outside the EU and don’t have private insurance.
4. Am I covered while I travel?
If you’re a frequent traveler, you can take out private international health insurance which gives expats the freedom to receive health treatment across the globe. If you don’t have international coverage, you’ll only be able to access healthcare within the EU/EEA or in countries with a reciprocal health agreement with Portugal.
5. What treatments are covered?
Healthcare on the SNS includes GP and specialist healthcare, hospital visits, maternity care, community healthcare, prescriptions and some dental treatment. But only a percentage of costs are covered. You can take out private health insurance to cover dental care, eye care and anything else not provided through the public system. However, some private plans don’t cover things such as doctor visits or prescription costs.
6. How straightforward is the process for making a claim?
Check the claims process to see whether the insurer will pay medical costs directly or whether you’ll need to pay and then get the money back. If this is the case, it’s advisable to check what is needed to make a claim and how long the process takes.