Health insurances in Portugal: your options
You will find a lot of information about the public health system in Portugal on the internet, that’s why I prefer to talk to you here about your options in terms of Health insurance for Portugal: waiting times are much shorter, you have the possibility to choose your english doctor in Lisbon or elsewhere, most of them will speak English and maybe even French, etc… I am not talking here about insurance for your holidays or stays but about Health insurances to choose from for those who wish to settle in Lisbon or elsewhere in the country. You’ve made your decision, you’ve started asking around but you don’t know which one to choose? It’s quite normal, I’ve been there and I’ll try to enlighten you on your different options.
Choosing a Portuguese health insurance company: English-speaking assistance
If you are in the midst of preparing for your expatriation to Portugal, then the choice of your health insurance and health coverage is a crucial point. Whether you are retired, working, with dependent children or with special medical needs, it is important to find the right insurance in Portugal that suits you and your family’s situation.
Experience has shown that it is extremely complicated to compare offers or to take out Portuguese health insurance without being accompanied by a English-speaking person who can inform you and act as an intermediary. This is the option that I myself chose before coming to Portugal.
If you too wish to contact a English-speaking person who specialises in health insurance for Portugal and who will find the best offer according to your needs, you can use the contact button below and fill in the associated form. Making the right choice is important, you commit yourself for a minimum of one year and there is no turning back if your health cover is not the right one when you need it the most.
Health insurance for Portugal
Which health insurance company to choose to go and live in Lisbon or elsewhere is a question that arose for me even before I left France. Of course, you will be able to apply for the European Health Insurance Card first but this only option will force you to go through the public health system in case of a problem in Portugal and I wish you courage (I will detail its specificities in a future article). You don’t speak Portuguese, so you only have two options left:
- Contact the absolutely wonderful expatriate health insurance companies, but…
- Find English health insurance in Portugal but…
Some information on the functioning of health insurances in Portugal :
- In any case, you will have to contribute to your consultations: they will never be free of charge (just like hospital procedures).
- In the event of an intervention at the hospital, which is fully covered by the health insurance company, the latter will have to give its agreement to the hospital: this is not always quick.
- Waiting periods can sometimes be several months, so don’t be surprised.
International Expatriation health insurances in Portugal
And yes, even if I chose option number 2 4 years ago, there is still a but! As far as expatriate health insurances are concerned, there’s nothing wrong with the service:
- Very good reimbursements
- Quick and direct contact in case of problems
- People who speak fluent english with whom to exchange ideas.
- Immediate refunds via internet or mobile application
- Care generally comprising optical and dental care, two sensitive points of health insurance companies
Very interesting services, but they are very expensive, since you can expect to pay less than 400€ per month for different quotes. A big budget that not everyone has, especially if you are going to work as a salaried employee in Portugal and facing the low level of salaries. For those who would be interested and would like to make their own idea, I give you some names of health insurances to contact:
- ADP Insurances for Retirees
English health insurances for the Portugal
This is the second option I chose before I moved to Lisbon. Having needed to subscribe a little before my departure and not speaking the language at all, I had to choose among the available options including this one. These are health insurance companies that speak English, which are often also established in your country and will offer you intermediate reimbursements and cover that can take into account optical and dental under certain conditions.
I will mention here only the health insurance company I chose at the beginning, the MGEN (for France). It is important to know that whichever health insurance company you choose in Portugal, you will have to contribute to the payment of your doctor’s appointments. For a private general practitioner and even if you have a health insurance company, you will have to pay between 15€ and 18€ depending on the formula you choose.
As mentioned above, you will also have to contribute in case of an operation: depending on the category of the operation, your contribution will be either fixed or a percentage of the cost of the operation. It is necessary to pay attention to this before subscribing, the prices of operations can be very high in Portugal. These are costs to be added to the monthly cost of the health insurance to get an idea of what it will cost you for the year.
A few informations:
- Reimbursement of medicines, for example, must be requested by sending a form by post.
- You must consult specialists in the network (No problem in Lisbon, however, the network is very important whatever the specialist you are looking for).
- The price is not negligible but is nevertheless more affordable than expatriates’ health insurance companies: between 150 and 300€ per month depending on the cover offered.
Portuguese health insurances
And here is the third option which will be the most interesting but there is the problem of language. It is not conceivable to subscribe to a health insurance scheme for Portugal, from France and without speaking the language. You wouldn’t be able to interact, understand the different points of the coverage, fill in the application forms and carry out the whole subscription process serenely. In this case and if you need help, please do not hesitate to contact me in order to be helped in the comparison and quote requests by a Portuguese speaking english on the spot.
Portuguese health insurance companies are the most interesting in terms of rates since they are of course better adapted to the country’s standard of living. It will not be half as expensive as the other health insurance in Portugal but you will be able to find one with reimbursements except dental and optical, below 80€ per month. However, they will automatically ask you to fill in a form to find out your general health situation. The monthly cost is therefore a little lower but you will also have to pay less for your consultations, between 12€ and 15€.
Of course the conditions of the health insurance companies change from year to year and prices may have changed when you read the article. So that you have a few names in mind, you will find below some of the most reputable health insurance companies that you can contact directly if you are fluent in Portuguese:
- Seguros Continente
This is only a non-exhaustive list, as the first two are often cited and quite reputable among the Portuguese. Again, if you are fluent in the language, you can use this comparator of Portuguese health insurance companies.
Portuguese health insurance via companies
If you are thinking of setting up a business in Portugal, then you have a particular option that I recommend to you and to service providers who are often fluent in English: the negotiators. These are companies that generally operate like the grouped purchases that you may know in France. These intermediaries are contacted by several companies in order to find the right health insurance for their employees. Once they have enough demand, they contact the different health insurances companies and play with the number of subscriptions to get the best prices for the best cover.
I don’t believe that this service exists for individuals but it does exist for Portuguese or foreign companies wishing to subscribe. I myself have used their services for other insurance and the prices are often competitive. I will not reveal the name here but contact me and I will put you in touch with one of these intermediaries.
Choosing the right Portuguese health insurance company: to remember
The most important thing to remember is that there is something for everyone. The choice of your health insurance in Portugal will depend above all on your health situation and that of your family:
- How often do you go to the doctor?
- Do you think it is possible that you may need surgery?
- Do you need glasses?
- Do you often go to the dentist?
- Do your children need special sessions? (Speech therapist for example)
- Do you need special experts? (Osteopaths for example)
- Will you be registered with the Portuguese Social Security or only covered by your health insurance company?
- Will you take care of your health insurance company on your own behalf or on behalf of a company?
A lot of questions to ask yourself before you even leave to settle in Lisbon or elsewhere. Making this point will help you to define your priorities and make an informed choice about the best solution.
The important points to remember about Portuguese health insurance companies are :
- That only the health insurance company will cover your health expenses in the private sector…
- That you will need to find out about the network of partner doctors in order to see whether it is large enough in Lisbon.
- That you will have to participate in the expenses of your operations in a fixed amount or as a percentage (Information to be taken before subscribing)
- That the coverage ceiling may vary from one offer to another and according to the interventions: attention must be paid to this fact.
- That not all health insurance companies have dental or optical options, which often drive up prices.
- That reimbursements of medicines are mostly made by mail and not automatically as is often the case in France.
- That you will have to participate in the payment of your consultation with a general practitioner or specialist
- That the 100% Portuguese health insurance companies are often the most advantageous ones
- That it will cost between €60 and €450 (for expatriate health insurance) depending on your situation, your needs and the size of your household: a cost that offsets the cost of living in Portugal.
English-speaking health insurance broker Portugal
By validating the contact form, you authorize me to transmit your request to a english-speaking person who will be able to contact you directly. Nothing is automated: these are people I know, based in Lisbon and who are qualified to accompany you in your approach & your project.
Insurances in Portugal
You will find below all the insurances in Portugal for which you can call upon my specialized partner broker:
- Car insurance Portugal
- Motorcycle insurance Portugal
- Property insurance Portugal
- Life insurance Portugal
- Dental Insurance Portugal
- Boat insurance Portugal