San Marino Medical Insurance
San Marino, officially known as the Republic of San Marino, is an enclave state located in north eastern Italy. San Marino is a member of the Council of Europe and is widely acknowledged to have one of the Council’s strongest economies with enviable low unemployment rates, no national debt and an annual budget surplus. However, with a land mass of just 61 square kilometers and a total population of 30,000 people, San Marino is one of the smallest countries in the world. San Marino enjoys a Mediterranean climate with four distinct seasons. Culturally very similar with the regions of Italy that surround it, San Marino has a long and distinguished musical tradition. Citizens of San Marino enjoy one of the world’s highest average life expectancies - 85 years for women and 77 years for men respectively. Founded in 4AD, San Marino is reputed to be the oldest sovereign republic in the world.
San Marino is able to provide an extremely high standard of healthcare; the country is consistently rated among the top three healthcare providers in Europe. Healthcare is state-funded and provided at a low cost to residents and nationals through a network of clinics, and a small hospital. Private healthcare is also available in the country. All citizens and registered long-term residents are entitled by law to equal access healthcare. Despite the high standard of healthcare, treatment options are limited and certain procedures must be conducted in hospitals outside of the country. The Institute for Health and Social Security administer the country’s healthcare system on behalf of the national government.
The Institute for Health operates a compulsory, salary related healthcare system. In effect, this means that both employers and employees must register with the national health insurance fund and pay contributions which, in the case of employees, are automatically deducted from salary. Employers are also required by law to make regular contributions on behalf of their employees.
Employees who contribute towards the national healthcare system contribute towards the coverage of their dependant family members through the salary contributions. Self-employed citizens must pay the full healthcare contribution to qualify for cover. Certain groups are exempt from making contributions but still qualify for state-funded healthcare, these are: the unemployed, old age pensioners, and people on long-term sickness benefit or maternity leave. Non-nationals seeking to immigrate to San Marino without prior employment must purchase private health insurance in order to obtain their residence permit.
Foreign nationals who have been paying San Marino healthcare contributions for two years are entitled to free healthcare within the country. The national insurance fund covers a wide range of medical services including treatment by specialists, hospitalization, prescriptions, maternity and rehabilitation. Personal appointments with doctors and referrals to consultants are free of charge. Some prescription medicines are free, whilst others are subsidized depending on the type of drug prescribed.
Private health cover options are widely available in San Marino, and privately purchased health insurance is often used to compliment state cover, with the cost of premiums depending on the level of cover required. Although private cover is more expensive than national health insurance, there are a number of benefits which include: avoidance of long waiting lists, freedom to choose which doctor you can visit and more comfortable conditions should you require a stay in hospital. Foreign nationals in San Marino that require the use of medical facilities must pay cash for all medical treatment received at that instance, regardless of whether they use public or private healthcare facilities. Visitors to San Marino are strongly advised to purchase comprehensive international medical healthcare insurance, that includes emergency evacuation cover in case of extreme medical emergencies, as the San Marino healthcare system is limited in the advanced healthcare it can provide.
There is one state hospital called the San Marino Hospital, and patients can only be admitted through the emergency department or through a referral by their doctor. The conditions in the state hospital are comfortable and similar to other European nations, although due to the public nature of the country’s healthcare system, there may be a waiting list for some non-emergency treatments and services. The quality of hospital rooms varies according to the quality of a person’s health insurance scheme. Privately insured patients are entitled to their own private room, while patients admitted through the national insurance scheme may have to share a room with a small number of others.
Health centers and clinics in San Marino are capable of providing outpatient care and some are capable of offering a variety of specialist services. Standard medical services carried out by health centers include general practice, maternity care, child care and dental care. Some emergency medical aid, as well as laboratory and radiology services, are also provided. Health centers are staffed by qualified doctors and nurses and operate to a high standard in terms of facilities, equipment and care. A small number of private practices operate in San Marino and these facilities are run by independent doctors, specialists and administrative staff. Private contributions largely fund these premises, their equipment, and the salaries of personnel. Private clinics excel in comfort and the quality of service, but the actual medical care provided varies very little from its counterparts in the public sector outside of the higher costs associated with treatment.
Visitors to San Marino who, in the event of accident or injury, require advanced medical treatment should be aware that there is a strong possibility they may need to seek medical assistance in Italy. It is therefore imperative that visitors ensure their international health insurance cover for San Marino includes emergency evacuation, as this service is prohibitively expensive. Some Italian public healthcare facilities are known to have poor hygiene standards and most are incapable to providing a detailed bill of healthcare services provided to a patient, which will be required for insurance purposes. If treatment in Italy is required, individuals are advised to seek assistance from privately operated healthcare providers.
Travelers and expatriates in San Marino must ensure they are sufficiently covered for all possible medical situations, including those where medical evacuation may be required. Purchasing comprehensive travel and medical cover is strongly recommended. For more information about the San Marino health insurance products and services Pacific Prime can offer, or to receive a free health insurance quote, please contact one of our dedicated advisers today.