Your guide to Slovakia’s healthcare system and private health insurance
Whether you are a traveler or an expat planning to work or stay in Slovakia, this exclusive short guide from Pacific Prime will breakdown everything you need to know about the country’s healthcare system and illustrate the importance of securing international private health insurance. Read on to learn more, or obtain a no-obligation, free quote below.
Right in the heart of Europe, Slovakia is a contrast of ages with historical castles and monuments to the mountain range, occasionally punctuated by industrial sprawl. The landlocked country is bordered by Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Ukraine.
Modern Slovakia became an independent nation-state on January 1st, 1993, when it peacefully separated from the Czech Republic, splitting from former Czechoslovakia by mutual agreement. Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia and draws travelers, expats, and visitors from all walks of life to its resplendent old town.
With a population of over 5.5 million, and membership in NATO, the EU, the UN, OECD, and WTO, Slovakia’s greater presence in the world is having a pronounced effect on tourism and its overall economic growth. It’s population demographics include roughly 85% Slovak, 10% Hungarian, 3% Romanian and the rest made up of Czechs, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Germans, Poles, and other ethnic minorities.
Healthcare system in Slovakia
The Slovak health system is based on mandatory health insurance, a basic benefits package, and universal population coverage, with selective contracting of providers. Each citizen or resident contributes to the nationalized system through a salary tax (insurance fee).
Distribution of healthcare in Slovakia
There are health centers dotted across the country with highly specialized hospitals situated in major cities, including Bratislava, Martin, and Košice.
Hospitals in Bratislava
- Kramáre hospital
- Ružinov hospital
- Staré Mesto hospital
- Petržalka hospital
Hospital in Martin
- Martin Faculty Hospital
Hospital in Košice
- Faculty Hospital L. Pasteura
Public or private healthcare in Slovakia
Public hospitals in Slovakia tend to be underfunded and understaffed, and private healthcare facilities are typically exceedingly expensive; posing a major burden for patients who pay for their treatments out-of-pocket.
Expats and travelers may want to consider securing international private health insurance so that they can gain access to private healthcare facilities that have English speaking or multilingual staff and services.
Billing for medical treatment in the public healthcare system
While European Union citizens can present their valid EU Health Insurance Card for covered emergency treatment, foreigners who are not resident nationals of the European Union will be required to pay directly for theirs.
It is important to note that the EU Health Insurance Card is not a substitute for medical or travel insurance, as it does not cover you for ongoing medical treatment or non-emergency treatment.
Prescription medication for Slovakians is not always covered by insurance in full, and of course, tourists will be required to pay the full bill – often upfront and in cash prior to receiving treatment.
Vaccinations for expats and travelers to Slovakia
For expats and travelers that are concerned about communicable (infectious) diseases in Slovakia, Pacific Prime has put together a list of vaccinations according to CDC, to be discussed with local doctors before traveling to Slovakia:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Secure international health insurance to access private healthcare in Slovakia
Although Slovakia's healthcare is of an adequate to a good standard, it is often advised that patients go elsewhere for serious medical treatment that is of higher quality, such as in neighboring countries of Poland, Austria, and Germany.
In this instance, international private health insurance would be especially useful, as it would cover the costly price of medical evacuation in the event of an emergency. Medical evacuation may also be necessary due to the few nurses and receptionists who speak English in the often under-maintained hospitals.
How to secure the best private health insurance in Slovakia
There are many insurance options available in Slovakia, which is why it can be a challenging task to find the best private health insurance policy. One of the best decisions expats or travelers 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.