Your guide to health insurance in Micronesia
Looking to move to Micronesia? The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) comprises a group of 607 volcanic islands located in the Pacific Ocean. These islands are grouped into four states: Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap, and Chuuk. Beautiful Micronesia is situated near the Philippines and Hawaii. The climate in Micronesia is mostly maritime tropical, with an average temperature of 27°C or 80 F. Curious about the healthcare system in the FSM? Here’s a brief overview of the healthcare system in Micronesia, and the health insurance options available to you.
In the FSM, the Department of Health and Social Affairs oversees the country’s healthcare services. In each state, the Department of Health Services provides autonomous medical and public health services through a hospital, community health centres and dispensaries. This includes medical, preventive, and public healthcare services. Both Government-owned and privately-owned health facilities are available in Micronesia. Here is a list of the contact information of all medical facilities in Micronesia.
In this section, we’ll go over the public and private healthcare systems.
Public healthcare system
Here, you’ll find that public health services are highly subsidized by the state government. There’s a public hospital in the urban central area of every FSM state. In other words, there are a total of four public hospitals and five health centres in Micronesia. Looking for the best hospital in Micronesia? The most modern, biggest hospital can be found on the isle of Pohnpei. With a small fee, all citizens are entitled to receive healthcare services at these hospitals.
How do you access the public healthcare system?
Only residents have direct access to the main hospital in each state. However, transportation between islands can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. As a result, outer island residents are often discouraged from accessing hospital services. For easy access to the best medical facilities in your state, make sure you relocate to a major urban area in Micronesia.
Shortage of medical supplies
A shortage of medical supplies, equipment, and healthcare professionals at public healthcare facilities is quite common here. That’s why certain urgent cases are transferred to the neighboring islands of Hawaii and Guam. There, you’ll receive treatment at more comprehensive medical facilities. However, even the closest fully-equipped institution is thousands of miles away. Alternatively, you should secure an insurance plan which includes repatriation. Unfortunately, accidents happen. That’s why repatriation is a good idea in case you need to travel back home to receive the best possible treatment for your condition.
Private medical facilities
Across Micronesia, there are six private health clinics and only one private hospital. These medical institutions are not subsidized. Nonetheless, there is a small private healthcare sector in the country.
Cost of healthcare
Do you have an insurance plan in place, or can you afford to pay for medical treatment out-of-pocket? In either case, you may opt for private hospitals and clinics. The costs of private medical care are usually higher than state healthcare.
What’s more, the cost of healthcare can vary between hospitals and clinics. Some medical facilities will ask for cash payments, while others insist on seeing proof of insurance. For this reason, travel insurance or private health insurance is highly recommended before you leave for Micronesia.
Once, Micronesia belonged to a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administration of the United States. It only became an independent country in 1986. As a result, its healthcare system is heavily influenced by the US.
Standard of care
Nevertheless, the standard of care in Micronesia is still not on par with what you are used to back at home. This is despite the fact that the US Public Health Service provides doctors at the four state hospitals. Moreover, Micronesians are taking part in programs such as the Medical Officer Training Program in Pohnpei. There are few nursing schools and specialty training programs available to train both doctors and nurses. Although the government has attempted to address this issue through overseas fellowship training programs, there are serious constraints on the ability to grow the healthcare workforce.
Private health insurance
Whether you are entitled to Micronesia’s state healthcare system or simply prefer an alternative, you should secure an international private health insurance plan. The healthcare system in Iceland is of high-quality and easily-accessible, but only if you live in the city.
We would also recommend an insurance plan that covers your repatriation costs. If you are injured, you may want to receive the best care for your condition outside of the country. In most cases, the cost to transfer you back home can be incredibly steep!
Pacific Prime has over two decades of experience as brokers in the insurance industry. We are committed to finding the perfect health insurance plan to suit your budget and needs. Most importantly, our highly-trained experts provide free quotations, leverage our close partnerships with all major insurers, and have an extensive portfolio that consists of all the best plans. Contact us today so we can help!