Bulgaria has a universal healthcare system that is funded through mandatory contributions from employees and employers. In this article, we will look at how the health insurance system works in Bulgaria, what it covers, and the advantages of international private medical insurance for expats living in the country.
Is health insurance mandatory in Bulgaria?
Yes, health insurance is mandatory for all residents in Bulgaria, including foreigners with long-term visas or work permits. The Bulgarian healthcare system is based on a mandatory social insurance model, which means that contributions are made by both employers and employees.
How does the state health insurance system work in Bulgaria? What does it cover?
The state health insurance system in Bulgaria provides coverage for a wide range of medical services, including hospitalization, specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and medical procedures. The system is funded by mandatory contributions from employees and employers, and it covers all residents of Bulgaria, regardless of their age, income, or health status.
Under the state health insurance system, patients are required to pay a small co-payment for some medical services, such as outpatient consultations and prescription drugs. The co-payment amount varies depending on the type of service and the individual’s income level. However, there are no co-payments for emergency care or hospitalization.
How do you apply to join the state health insurance system in Bulgaria (provide answer in numbered steps)?
- Obtain a Bulgarian Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the local Migration Directorate or the Ministry of Interior.
- Register with the National Revenue Agency (NRA) to obtain a Unique Identification Code (UIC).
- Find a local branch of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and complete an application form to enroll in the state health insurance system.
- Provide a copy of your Bulgarian ID card or passport and your NRA registration certificate.
- Pay the mandatory health insurance contributions, which are calculated based on your income level.
What are the advantages of international private medical insurance for expats living in Bulgaria?
While the state health insurance system in Bulgaria provides comprehensive coverage, there are some advantages to purchasing international private medical insurance for expats living in the country. Some of these advantages include:
More comprehensive coverage
International private medical insurance policies often provide more comprehensive coverage than the state health insurance system. This can include coverage for dental care, vision care, and alternative therapies that are not covered under the state system.
With international private medical insurance, expats have more flexibility in choosing their healthcare providers and treatment options. They can also choose to receive treatment in other countries if they are not satisfied with the quality of care in Bulgaria.
English-speaking doctors and staff
Many international private medical insurance providers offer access to English-speaking doctors and staff, which can be beneficial for expats who are not fluent in Bulgarian.
Peace of mind
Having international private medical insurance can provide expats with peace of mind knowing that they are covered for any medical emergencies or unexpected illnesses that may arise while living in Bulgaria.
In conclusion, health insurance is mandatory in Bulgaria, and the state health insurance system provides comprehensive coverage for all residents. However, expats living in the country may benefit from purchasing international private medical insurance for more comprehensive coverage, flexibility, and peace of mind.