You will be eligible for some low cost healthcare if you are currently making national insurance contributions into one of the Moroccan health insurance systems, such as the national social security/caisse nationale de sécurité sociale (CNSS). Otherwise, you will require private cover.Note that the public healthcare system in Morocco falls below the standards of those in Western nations. For example, there is a shortage of doctors. Many expats opt for private cover to avoid the problems in the public sector.
State health insurance costs in Morocco
Morocco does not currently have a universal or compulsory health insurance system, as such. However, it does have a public health insurance scheme, AMO – this is a voluntary health insurance scheme. You will be entitled to coverage under the scheme if you have been making national insurance contributions into it for 55 days. The system is divided into the CNSS (see above), for employees in the private sector, and the CNOPS (caisse nationale des organismes de prévoyance sociales/national social welfare organisations), for those employed in the public sector.
Private sector employers will need to enrol you in the CNSS, so that you can be issued with an insurance card and receive AMO benefits.
If you are a public sector worker, you will have to register with CNOPS in order to access AMO benefits.
If you are enrolled in AMO, you may still need to make some upfront payments. These will be quite cheap compared to in the Western medical sector. A visit to your GP can cost between $10 and $15, medications cost a few dollars, and an operation can cost in the region of $500+.
Prescriptions are covered to some extent, and the number of reimbursable drugs has recently been increased. If you are enrolled in AMO, you may still need to make some upfront payments, but again, these are very cheap compared to in the Western medical sector. You will usually need to pay a few dollars for prescription medication. Otherwise, you will need to pay the full cost out of pocket, but again, this will not be expensive.
How much does treatment cost in the private sector?
As above, out of pocket payments in the private sector in Morocco are viable for minor ailments, but they can escalate if you have a more serious illness. For example, a hospital stay costs around $300+ per day. Therefore, many expats opt for comprehensive health cover with international insurance companies.
Medical tourism is becoming an increasingly popular market sector in Morocco, and provision has expanded over the last decade. Growth sectors in the private market include cosmetic surgery, laser eye surgery and dental treatment. It is estimated that the country has around 2000 medical tourists per year, and around 15% of cosmetic treatment is undertaken by overseas clients (most of whom are female). Costs are between 30% and 50% lower than in Europe and significantly less than in the US. The country has 80 specialists and 12 cosmetic surgery clinics. According to the Moroccan Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery (SMCPRE), liposuction and breast enhancements are the most frequently performed operations.
For cosmetic procedures, prices vary between clinics, so shop around. Here are some sample prices:
• Varicose vein treatment: around €850
• Abdominoplasty: around €2000
• Breast reduction: around €2300
• Breast implants: around €2000
• Liposuction: around €1500
Procedures such as hip replacements, knee replacements and carpal tunnel surgery (for just over €400) are also available in private clinics. You will need to contact clinics for specific costs, and they will be able to give you quotes tailored to your particular needs.
Some sample prices for private dental treatment are:
• Consultation: €40
• X-ray: €40 to €140
• Scaling: €80
• Teeth whitening: €470
• Ceramic crown (metal or zirconia framework): €470
• Full zirconia crown: €470
• Veneer: €650
• Onlay, endocrown or cerec crown: €470
• Partial denture: €370
• Complete denture: €930
• Root canal: €140 to €280
• Composite restoration: €60
• Simple tooth removal: €50
• Surgical tooth removal: €280
• Implants: €582 to €690
Do not be afraid to ask for testimonials, references and proof of qualifications. Some expats report excellent treatment in the Moroccan private sector, but experiences do vary. Contact your local expat community for recommendations. Word of mouth recommendations are often the most helpful.
You may need to contact your insurance provider for permission to undertake a particular procedure. Do not forget to contact your selected clinic as well, so that you can check how they would like to be paid and whether they will accept your insurance.