Iceland Medical Insurance
Iceland is the second largest island in Europe and eighteenth largest island in the World. The country is located South of the Arctic Circle, between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Greenland Sea. Iceland's geographical location, over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and the presence of mantle plumes underneath it, make it one of the most volcanically active countries of the World. It also has a large number of glaciers, and there are bays and fjords along the coastline. There is also an abundance of geysers on the Iceland. The geographical position of Iceland is such that the island nation is relatively warmer than other countries that lie in the same latitude. Although Iceland is located near the Arctic Circle, the winters here are not that harsh and severe. The presence of the North Atlantic current lowers the intensity of the cold winter winds. Overall, the climate of Iceland is predominantly temperate in nature.
Iceland is one of the richest countries in the world. The high standard of living in this wealthy country means that every resident, or citizen, has good access to free healthcare. All citizens regardless of status qualify for healthcare under the State healthcare service. The healthcare service in Iceland is predominantly public run healthcare, primarily financed by the Central Government, mainly through taxation, about 85% is based on taxes and 15% is fees for service. The Icelandic health service is well organised, medical facilities are good and the doctor to patient ratio is much higher than in any other country at 3.7 doctors per 1,000 patients. All employers must pay taxes based on a percentage of wages to the State Treasury for every employee working for them.
Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders, who certify to the Social Security Institute (SSI) of Iceland that they have made contributions in their home country, are entitled to free or reduced cost medical treatment from the national healthcare in Iceland. All registered foreign nationals, who have been residents in the country for six months are automatically entitled to healthcare coverage from the public healthcare system.
State health insurance in Iceland entitles citizens to hospital treatment and care, emergency medical care, prescription medicine, physiotherapy, ambulance transportation, surgical aids and other medical equipment, dental treatment and maternity care. The private health sector is not very common in Iceland. There are a limited number of private healthcare providers in the country, mainly operating within healthcare centers in more populated areas of Iceland. Specialist private healthcare operators are also available at a fee-for service for those who are not entitled or do not seek medical treatment from pubic healthcare.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Iceland is responsible for healthcare administration and it formulates policy on health related issues. By law, the MOH is required to carry out certain functions to ensure the stability of healthcare in Iceland. A few categories under MOH of Iceland include public health, patient rights, operation of hospitals, health centres and other health service centres (both public and private) and promotion of information technology in the health services of Iceland.
Iceland is divided into seven healthcare regions and each region has its own treatment facilities. Some of these centres have close connections with the local community hospitals; jointly they are responsible for general treatment and care, examination, home care, preventative medicine and child healthcare. Opticians, gynaecologists, ear nose and throat specialists and paediatricians visit all healthcare centres on a regular basis. Each citizen is required to register with a GP in a region closeby to where he lives. In each area, there is a doctor on-call 24 hours a day. Doctors are salaried workers normally paid by the Government. Inpatient treatment is free of charge, and payments are required for treatment at the health centres and hospital outpatient wards.
Hospitals in Iceland are located in all the major towns of the country and normally one will find the most highly qualified medical professionals practicing there. There are three types of hospitals in Iceland, namely specialised teaching hospitals, general hospitals and community hospitals. The specialised hospitals perform most operations and procedures in all specialist medical fields. One must receive a referral from a doctor in order to visit any hospital in Iceland unless it is in the case of an emergency. Medical tourism is booming in Iceland and the Government is building two private hospitals in Reykjanesbaer and Mosfellsbaer to address the need. A private dental clinic will also open soon. Both hospitals will offer specialised surgery and treatment, joint replacement and many other services. The dental clinic will offer a new method of teeth implantation.
The healthcare system in Iceland is very well established; perhaps a minor imperfection is that there is limited access to healthcare services in the less urbanised areas of the country. If you are planning to stay in Iceland for less than six months, you are required to pay for any out-of pocket medical costs and these are typically expensive. It is therefore highly recommended to purchase a travel policy while making a trip to Iceland. As is the case with any universal healthcare system, there are always long queuing times that can be a hassle during your trip. Should you desire to receive immediate treatment at a doctor or clinic of your choice, an expat medical insurance plan will be the optimal solution for you. This will give you a peace-of-mind knowing that medical costs will be covered quickly and efficiently in case of an accident or illness for yourself and your family while travelling to Iceland.
Pacific Prime is a one-stop insurance brokerage service provider for you when travelling to Iceland. We offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs, including benefits such as dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many others. We offer a large variety of health care plans as well as travellers insurance plans. Contact our professional advisers today to enjoy full insurance protection such as Health Insurance Plan for yourself and your family.