EU pensioners also qualify for Cyprus Social Insurance cover. All other residents must have private health insurance.
Cyprus Social Insurance
The Cyprus social insurance scheme is compulsory for all those working in Cyprus. It provides pensions and benefits in all areas of social security and is financed by contributions from employees, employers and the state.
Currently, social insurance contributions are 16.6 per cent of earings (6.3 per cent of your gross salary is paid by both employee and employer and the state pays the remaining 4 per cent). Self-employed people pay a total of 11.6 per cent of income and the state contributes 4 per cent.
If you contribute to Cypriot social insurance, you and your family are entitled to free or subsidised medical and dental treatment. Anyone who has paid regular social security contributions in another EU country for two full years prior to coming to Cyprus is entitled to similar cover for a limited period, and EU pensioners are entitled to free treatment.
Benefits (which are free or subsidised according to your), include general and specialist care, hospitalisation, laboratory services, discounted drugs and medicines, basic dental care, maternity care, appliances and transportation.
Cyprus has an efficient network of government general hospitals and clinics in urban areas with health centres and dispensaries in more rural areas. Nevertheless, most Cypriots and foreign residents who can afford it take out private health insurance, which offers a wider choice of medical practitioners and hospitals, and more importantly, frees them from public health waiting lists.
If you qualify for Cyprus social insurance benefits, you must obtain a health card. There are two cards, which are allocated according to your means, as follows:
- Medical Card A – This is issued to individuals without dependants and an annual income of under €15,377, couples with an annual income of under €30,754 (increased by €1,708 for each dependent child), and members of families with four or more children (irrespective of income). It entitles the holder to free healthcare.
- Medical Card B – This is issued to individuals without dependents and an annual income of between €15,377 and €20,503, and to members of families with up to three children and an annual income of between €30,754 and €37,589. It entitles the holder to half-price healthcare.
If you earn above these amounts, you must pay around €12 for a consultation with a doctor and around €85 per day for in-patient hospital care.
You should complete the appropriate application form (which you can obtain from any general hospital in Cyprus) and submit it, along with proof of income and evidence of payment of tax and social insurance contributions, to the Ministry of Health in Nicosia. You can normally do this via your local health centre or general hospital in Cyprus. You should receive your medical card within around three weeks. Medical cards are valid for two years, and you must apply for renewal a month before expiry.
Further information about entitlement to a health card can be found on the Ministry of Health website (www.moh.gov.cy).
Anyone who has paid regular social security contributions in another EU country for two full years prior to coming to Cyprus is entitled to public health cover for a limited period from the date of their last contribution. Social security form E106 must be obtained from the social security authorities in your home country and presented to your local Social Insurance office in Cyprus.
Pensioners: Retirees living in Cyprus and receiving a state pension from another EU country are entitled to free or subsidised state healthcare. You will need to obtain the necessary forms from your home country and submit them with your application for a medical card in Cyprus. In the UK, you should contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Medical Benefits Section (Tel. 0191-218 7547, www.dwp.gov.uk). When you contact the DWP about getting your pension paid in Cyprus, they should automatically check that you have the required form, which is currently form E121.
This article is an extract from Buying a Home in Cyprus from Survival Books.