Slovenia is a small central European nation that lies in the eastern Alps at the northeastern end of the Adriatic Sea, with Austria to the north, Italy to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, and Croatia to the south. Despite its small size, Slovenia offers an impressive variety of environments,tourism opportunities, and has maintained a distinctive language and culture right in the heart of Europe.
Those traveling or moving to Slovenia can find information below on health insurance in Slovenia, be it private health insurance or travel policy, as well as how Slovenia's healthcare system works. Read on to learn more, or click below to obtain a no-obligation, free quote.
Overview of Slovenia healthcare system
The Slovenian healthcare system offers both public and private medical options. The public healthcare system offers a high standard of care to citizens, long-term residents, and EU/EEA vistors. It is supported by regular contribution through tax by all employees and businesses. On the other hand, temporary residents and travelers from outside the EU are encouraged to arrange private health insurance for themselves and for any dependents.
The administrator of the healthcare system in Slovenia is the Ministry of Health. The ministry is responsible for financing health infrastructure for hospitals and other facilities to deliver healthcare programs on a national level to all citizens in Slovenia. The mission statement is to develop the health sector in Slovenia through employing a mixture of private and public healthcare services with increasing competition between supply options, including funding and patient choice.
The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (HIIS) is established as the core purchaser of medical services and is bound by the state to provide the compulsory health insurance scheme for the Slovenian population. The HIIS is a public non-profit-making entity to collect and distribute public funds to guarantee that citizens are covered.
How does the public healthcare system work in Slovenia?
Practically, the entire Slovenian population is covered under the sole compulsory insurance scheme, either as contributing members or as their dependants. Contributions to the public health insurance system are related to earnings from employment. Members of the public insurance system are tracked through an insurance identification card. Health insurance identification numbers are assigned to every Slovenian citizen at birth and can be granted to foreign nationals with temporary residential status or with authorization to work in the country.
The Slovenian compulsory insurance system does not ensure coverage of all costs that arise in medical treatment nor does it guarantee availability of said services immediately. Since it is not possible to opt out of the compulsory health insurance system, there are no voluntary full coverage schemes.
Voluntary health insurance has been developed in Slovenia to compliment the state-run compulsory system as well as to ameliorate the problems of rising out-of-pocket payments and substantial waiting times that are commonplace with public health systems. Many citizens and residents are now turning to private health insurance to give themselves this extra medical cover. Private health clinics have also emerged to provide specialized direct care to patients.
Slovenia’s healthcare system faces similar problems to that of the rest of Western Europe. The continued evolution of hi-tech medical technology and pharmaceutical innovations, coupled with increasing expectations for new treatments and an ageing population, put serious strain on the financial and human resources of the state’s healthcare sector. There is a lack of physicians and qualified nurses in Slovenia, which has affected the quality of service. This has resulted in long waiting periods to see a GP, undertake non-emergency surgical, and dental procedures. Advanced medical facilities accessible through the HIIS are also in short supply, which contributes to lengthy waiting times for patients.
Medical facilities in Slovenia
The Slovenian medical facility infrastructure is organized on a primary, secondary, and tertiary level. There is an extensive and well-dispersed network of public health facilities throughout Slovenia. There are 64 primary healthcare centers and 69 primary health stations. A primary healthcare facility is accessible within a distance of 20 km from almost all locations in Slovenia. The secondary and tertiary levels comprise of specialized outpatient services and hospitals.
There are currently 29 hospitals in Slovenia -18 reserved for general and clinical treatments, 4 for mental conditions, 2 for maternity care, 2 for pulmonary treatments, 2 for orthopedic care, and 1 rehabilitation centre. For patients to use these specialist healthcare services at the secondary or tertiary care level in the public sector, they must be referred by a doctor registered with the HIIS.
Expats in Slovenia?
Foreign nationals visiting Slovenia will be expected to pay for medical services and treatment while in the country. Those requiring a simple medical consultation will be administered through the public system and those who find themselves in emergency conditions will have aid delivered immediately.
Since Slovenia is a member of the European Union, European citizens are entitled to have the same health benefits as a Slovenian citizen under reciprocal healthcare agreements if they hold a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Having said that, comprehensive insurance is still advised for all other nationals. Check with your country's health department to see if a reciprocal cover agreement is in place with Slovenia. Travellers should take note that although the standard of healthcare in Slovenia is of good quality, it is strongly recommended that visitors to the country take out Slovenian international medical insurance, which should include cover for medical evacuation and medical repatriation in case of an emergency.
Lastly, travelers to Slovenia should be advised to get vaccinated for tetanus, hepatitis A and B and typhoid prior to their visit. Tick-borne encephalitis is also a prevalent risk in the rural areas of the country.
Pacific Prime offers a wide variety of healthcare plans and travel insurance policies with possible benefit packages including dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many more. Contact our professional advisers today to receive a plan comparison, and no-obligation free health insurance quote.