Your guide to health insurance in Moldova
Interested in moving to Moldova? You will no doubt be curious about the healthcare system there! The Republic of Moldova only became independent from the Soviet Union recently in 1991. Their healthcare system has been reformed since, providing universal healthcare to all citizens.
Read on for an overview of the healthcare system in Moldova, and your healthcare options as an expat there! You can also find our guides for other European countries here.
Moldova provides universal healthcare for all of their residents. They take after the Semashko healthcare system from the Soviet-era, which is to say: Moldova has an oversupply of medical facilities and healthcare workers. However, their medical facilities are nowhere near the Western standard we are used to back at home. For years, their entire healthcare system has gone through rapid changes for the better.
Here is the Moldova healthcare system in a nutshell.
A unique mix of public and private sectors
You will find that the Moldovan healthcare system is a curious mix of public and private medical facilities. The Ministry of Health (MHI) offers certain primary and secondary care services for free. This is along with universal emergency care and dental care. However, they only cover an extremely limited range of pharmaceuticals. You will have to pay out-of-pocket for your prescriptions most of the time.
All public medical facilities are non-profit organizations contracted by The National Insurance Company (NHIC, or Compania Natională de Asigurări în Medicină) to provide healthcare services under the MHI. The NHIC is the sole purchaser of medical services in Moldova.
Also, some private health service providers entered into similar contracts with the MHI.
Where can I access medical facilities?
You will likely find clinics pepper throughout your community. Primary and secondary level public medical facilities belong to local authorities and serve their community. On the other hand, tertiary level institutions provide specialized medical care for the whole population. Unfortunately, almost all tertiary facilities are in Chisinau, the capital city. This makes it essential that you live in the city. Alternatively, you should secure a private health insurance plan that covers the repatriation costs so you can relocate to receive the best care for your condition.
Informal payments occur at almost all levels of the healthcare system in Moldova. This is especially the case for inpatient care. The more serious your medical condition is, the more you have to pay your medical staff under the table. This is one of the ongoing problems the MHI has been trying to solve.
Pharmaceuticals are definitely the biggest perpetrator of informal payments. Remember to bring extra money when you visit one! Your out-of-pocket payment should include both informal payment and direct fee-for-service payment.
Quality of healthcare
Don’t expect to find many clinics and hospitals if you live in a rural area! There is an oversupply of medical institutions and healthcare personnel - most of which are in Chisinau. Hospitals in Moldova are definitely capable of dealing with minor ailments and illnesses. However, high-technology equipment is only available in Chisinau.
Occasionally, there are shortages of medications and other supplies. Most doctors and nurses have also left Moldova for better pay and opportunities elsewhere.
Most people are enrolled in the Mandatory Health Insurance scheme in Moldova. Still, a percentage prefers a private health insurance plan, particularly if they are expats. In this section, we will give a rundown of the two options.
Mandatory Health Insurance
The Mandatory Health Insurance (MHI) is funded by the payroll contributions from both employee and employer alike. Employees pay 7% of their salary while employers pay 3.5%. The non-working population, such as pensioners, students, and children, are all covered by the NHIC. Self-employed individuals are expected to purchase their own insurance cover every year at a fixed price. It’s important to note that despite the name of MHI, you can opt-out or purchase your own insurance plan.
Do you have a local labour agreement in Moldova? You’re in luck! You too, can contribute to the MHI and enjoy the same health benefits as the average Moldovan. If you haven’t, please secure a private health insurance plan before traveling to Moldova.
Either way, we recommend bringing your own prescriptions. Most prescriptions are not covered by the state and the same brands you are accustomed to back at home can be difficult to find.
Private health insurance
Whether you are eligible for Moldova’s Mandatory Health Insurance or simply prefer an alternative, you should secure an international private health insurance plan. The healthcare system in Moldova is nowhere near comprehensive. This is especially the case if you live outside of Chisinau.
We recommend an insurance plan that covers your repatriation costs. If you are injured, you would want to receive the best care for your condition outside of the country. Sometimes, the cost to transfer you back home can be incredibly steep! We also recommend a plan that covers theft and loss.
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!