Healthcare System for Expatriates Living in Hungary
It’s important for anyone planning a long-term or permanent relocation to Hungary to understand and learn Healthcare System for Expatriates in Hungary works. This beautiful landlocked European country, with a rich history and magnificent landscapes, is also one of the best destinations for medical tourism.
This is primarily because Hungary has maintained exceptional healthcare standards and services that are also more affordable than its neighboring European countries. A few Hungarian hospitals may not have all the necessary equipment, but their doctors are well-trained to take control of almost every situation. This is why patients come to Hungary for optimum treatment from all around the world.
European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens are permitted to use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for availing treatment in Hungary. The EHIC card is free for those who qualify to use its conditions. EHIC cardholders can avail free or subsidized treatment, and those who have to pay for it can get the amount reimbursed in their home or host country. Only those with pre-existing medical conditions or traveling abroad for treatment purposes cannot obtain the benefits of an EHIC card. A good private health insurance plan can help such people travel to Hungary for medical reasons.
Overview of Healthcare in Hungary
The Hungarian healthcare system has undergone extensive privatization. The system is financed through the Health Insurance Fund (HIF). Which provides free or nominal healthcare services to the local population. The contribution towards this fund comes from the employees (3% of their income), the employers (15% of the annual gross pay of the employees plus a certain amount of tax), and local/national taxes paid by the general public. Dental care is one of the primary services for which both expats and local residents flock to Hungary’s private medical facilities where charges are much lower than Western Europe as well as those compared to the United States.
How the Hungarian Healthcare System Works for Expats
Any foreigner coming to Hungary, expat or tourist, is usually covered for timely first aid assistance as well as emergency treatment in the country. Expats, who study or work in Hungary, have to mandatory contribute towards the Health Insurance Fund, which in turn covers them too. They have to apply for a health insurance card (TAJ) for availing the benefits of a health insurance plan.
Public Healthcare in Hungary
The public healthcare system in Hungary is fairly good, but it may not be up to some expatriate expectations and standards. Since the treatment is free or subsidized, public hospitals often have a long wait list of patients. But the practitioners at these hospitals are properly trained and can help with treatment for common ailments most of the time. At times, expats may have to work with Hungarian-speaking staff. Which may delay the treatment process a bit if they do not know the language at all.
Private Healthcare in Hungary
The private healthcare system works parallel to public healthcare and requires that people pay for the treatment. Since the system is advanced, most of the expats in Hungary prefer private healthcare assistance. The most common benefits of private health services include shorter wait times, access to all kinds of equipment, availability of English-speaking staff, etc.
Dental care, specifically, is one of the services in Hungary for which both expats. As well as citizens of the country, choose the assistance of private practitioners. Other specialties of the private healthcare system include cosmetic surgery, eye surgery, joint surgery, rehabilitative practices, etc.
Emergency Services in Hungary
Expats will usually find little trouble seeking emergency services in Hungary. You can expect medical practitioners to reach you within 15 minutes of your call. Most of the time, it will be an English-speaking representative on the call. However, expats can also dial the common EU emergency number on 112. The numbers to reach the emergency services in Hungary are:
- Ambulance: 104
- Fire Division: 105
- Police: 107
Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats Living in Hungary
Before arriving in Hungary, expats must secure a good international health insurance plan. A good cover keeps them secured against any unexpected medical expenses incurred while staying in a foreign country. Expats usually go for international insurance plans since they include medical services in the best of private facilities, and even include air evacuation to a better hospital if and when needed. They can always check with the concerned insurance company about the list of hospitals where their insurance plans are valid.
Almost every international health insurance company has a different package from the others. Cigna is one of the leading companies whose plans are widely recommended by expats already living in Hungary. Even then, it is always suggested that expats compare health insurance plans of a few international insurance companies first before finalizing the best option for them.