If you are planning to move or travel to Andorra, you may have concerns and questions regarding how their healthcare system works, as well as whether a private health insurance plan in Andorra is needed. This brief guide provides information about Andorra, its healthcare system, and further outlines the key health insurance options available in the country. Read on to discover more, or click below to obtain a no-obligation, free quote.
Andorra is a tiny country/principality located in south-western Europe, in the eastern Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. The country covers an approximate area of 468 km2, or about 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. The rugged terrain, steep valleys, and beautiful, natural lakes make it an attractive location for expats and travelers.
Interestingly, Andorra has one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 83 years! The fresh environment and lifestyle, along with the excellent healthcare system, are considered the main contributors to this statistic.
Andorra’s official language is Catalan, but French, Spanish, and English are also widely spoken. The current population of Andorra is 77,265.
Healthcare system in Andorra
The healthcare system in Andorra is considered by many as a major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. According to the World Health Organization, the Andorran healthcare system was officially established over 100 years ago in September 1918, due to the influenza pandemic at the time. Over the past century, it has grown to become one of the best-ranked healthcare systems in the world. In fact, a study that was published in 2017 from the Lancet, produced a “Healthcare Access and Quality Index” (HAQ) score of 95 out of 100 for Andorra. This was significantly higher than other developed countries, such as Japan (89 points), Canada (88 points), the UK (85 points, and even the US (81 points).
Andorra’s healthcare system is also one of the most technologically advanced in Europe, and is similar to the French healthcare system. The country has a publicly funded healthcare system as well as a private healthcare sector.
Access to the public healthcare system
Residents in Andorra can get access to the public healthcare system by joining the Andorran Social Security System (Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social, a.k.a.CASS).
To join the CASS, residents must be employed by either an Andorran or a private company. CASS will cover expatriates with Active Residency permits and their families, whereas expatriates with passive residency permits and tourists are not covered by this healthcare system. An employee typically pays between 5 and 10% of their salary in contributions to the CASS, and the employer pays around 14% for each employee. Expatriates are advised to register with CASS upon employment with a work permit (which is usually sponsored by the employer).
Andorran National Health Service
The Andorran National Health Service, Servei Andorrà d’Atenció Sanitària (SAAS) was created in December 1986 and is responsible for the administration and management of all public health care resources in the country. The SAAS aims to bring the private, public, and volunteer sectors together to create a more efficient health care service.
Andorra’s healthcare facilities and network of doctors and pharmacies
Andorra’s Nostra Senyora de Meritxell is a world-class hospital, equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and houses both public and private doctors. The hospital is also known as Centre Hospitalari Andorrà (CHA) and is located in Escaldes-Engordany. The hospital has around 200 beds for patients.
Apart from the CHA, Andorra has a great network of doctors that run private practices across the country. Andorra also boasts one of the highest ratios of pharmacies per capita in Europe. Considering the size of the country, there are more than 50 pharmacies providing prescribed and non-prescribed medications to the population.
Check this link for a comprehensive list of all the healthcare professionals and health centers available in Andorra.
Andorra travel advice
Andorra is a relatively safe country to be in, however, expats and travelers are advised to exercise caution.
- Crime - Although the crime rate is low, travelers are advised to ensure that personal belongings, including passport and travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Road safety - The roads can be narrow and rugged when off-road. There are no major highways either, so ensure to plan well ahead of the journey.
- Terrorism - As Andorra is located in Europe, there is a risk that a terrorist attack can occur at any time. Be aware of the surroundings when in public places.
Is it advised to get private health insurance for Andorra?
Travelers and expatriates visiting Andorra are advised to take out a comprehensive international health insurance policy before arriving in the country. The publicly funded healthcare system is only available to residents, and travelers and expats without the proper residency permit will have to pay out of pocket for any healthcare and treatment they receive. The cost of care and treatment can easily add up, and become a financial burden if not covered by a health plan. Securing private health insurance also allows access to private clinics and doctors.
Is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) valid in Andorra?
Expats who are from other European countries should be advised that the EHIC is not valid in Andorra. The country is not a participating country, unlike the European Economic Area (EEA); that is, all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. As the EHIC is invalid in Andorra, visitors and expats to the principality must ensure they have adequate comprehensive private health insurance for the entire duration of their stay.
Medical evacuation cover
Medical evacuation is considered useful, especially when expats are far from home and unfamiliar with the healthcare system they have access to. Securing medical evacuation cover will ensure effective management of medical treatment during emergencies. The nearest city to provide top-quality healthcare is in Barcelona and is easily accessible by air ambulance.
To learn more about this cover, download our free medical evacuation guide.
How to find the best private health insurance in Andorra
There are many insurance options available in Andorra, which is why it can be a challenging task to find the best private health insurance policy. One of the best decisions travelers and expats can make is to consult an experienced insurance broker like Pacific Prime.
With almost two decades of experience matching expats with the most optimal health insurance solutions on the market, Pacific Prime leverages their close partnerships with all major insurers and has an extensive portfolio of all the best plans. In addition to having the best health insurance policies, Pacific Prime also offers unparalleled service and outstanding claims support. Contact Pacific Prime today to secure the best insurance solution with the help of consultants that provide impartial advice and support.