Slovenia Medical Insurance
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. Slovenia has a population just over 2 million people and gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, becoming a member of the European Union in 2004. Unlike Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia was relatively nonviolent and they have since enjoyed remarkable political and economic stability in the Euro zone. Despite its small size, Slovenia offers an impressive variety of environments and tourism opportunities and has maintained a distinctive language and culture right in the heart of Europe.
The Slovenian healthcare system offers both public and private medical options. As with the rest of Slovenian civil society, their health infrastructure has been through a considerable transition since independence. Passed in 1992, The Health Care and Health Insurance Act brought about structural reforms; introducing a compulsory health insurance plan and voluntary health insurance to engage both public and private resources in the financing of the health care system. Changes were also introduced in the health care delivery sector as specific privatization of health care providers was enabled to work within the public health care network. Every Slovene citizen has the right to choose one personal physician without administrative or territorial constraints. As Slovenia’s economy has grown, private investment has become more involved through the establishment of private facilities and further insurance options. Private healthcare operates at an estimated 10% of the market share currently, although majority of the private health sector remains incorporated into public health insurance schemes.
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 management of medical services in Slovenia is centralized. The role of local municipalities in health financing is minimal and limited to the provision and maintenance of health infrastructure at the primary care level.
The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (HIIS) is established as the core purchaser of medical services and is bound by statute to provide the compulsory health insurance scheme for the Slovenian population. The HIIS is a public non-profit-making entity supervised by the State to collect and distribute public funds to guarantee citizens are covered. The HIIS has 55 branch offices altogether; 10 at the regional level and 45 at the local level. Regional offices are tasked with negotiating with health care providers.
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. Since January 2002 the compulsory health insurance contributions of the employed are 13.45% of their gross income and are shared almost equally between the employer and employee. 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 are authorized 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 developed in Slovenia to compliment the state-run compulsory system and 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 however there are certain medical fields in which the state must still control. There has been a bureaucratic effort to further equalize the public versus the private degree of coverage to ensure the state is not unduly burdened with the highest cost elements of health care.
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 health care centers and 69 primary health stations. A primary health care facility is accessible within a distance of 20 km from almost all locations in Slovenia. The secondary and tertiary levels comprise specialized out-patient 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.
Slovenia’s health care system faces similar problems to that of the rest of Western Europe. The continued evolution of hi-tech medical technology and pharmaceutical innovations coupled increasing population expectations for new treatments and an ageing population put serious strain on the financial and human resources of the state’s health care sector. There is a lack of physicians and qualified nurses in Slovenia, which has affected the quality of service in the healthcare system. This has resulted in long waiting periods to see a GP and for the undertaking of 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.
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. Slovenia is a member of the European Union and thus European citizens are entitled to have the same health benefits as a Slovenian citizen under reciprocal healthcare agreements, provided they hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive insurance is 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 quality standard of healthcare is good in Slovenia, it is strongly recommended that a visitor to the country takes out Slovenian international medical insurance, which should include cover for medical evacuation and medical repatriation in case of an extreme medical circumstance.
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 will consult and offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs should you plan to travel to Slovenia. We offer a wide variety of health care plans and travel insurance policies with possible benefit packages including dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many more. Please contact our professional advisors today for a free quote and enjoy the security that our extensive Health Insurance Plans can provide.