Sweden Medical Insurance
Sweden is one of the largest countries in Europe, with great diversity in its nature and climate. Its distinctive yellow and blue flag is one of the national symbols that reflect centuries of history between Sweden and its Nordic neighbours. Sweden is located in Northern Europe, and is bounded by Finland on the North, by the Gulf of Bothnia on the East, by the Baltic Sea on the South East, by the Öresund, the Kattegat, and the Skagarrak on the South West, and by Norway on the West. Sweden has a total area of 449,964 sq km with about 15% of its total area situated North of the Arctic circle. The capital city of Sweden is Stockholm.
The healthcare system in Sweden is comprised of public and private medical services. The country has an excellent and modern healthcare system and is often ranked as one of the best in the world. Sweden has a large number of new hospitals and an abundant supply of well trained doctors, nurses and state-of-the-art medical technology. The Swedish public healthcare system provides universal, compulsory and free healthcare to all legal residents in Sweden, the system was founded under the principles of equal access to all. The Government takes care of about 98% of the medical costs including consultation with specialists, hospitalization, and laboratory fees, care for the elderly, disabled and psychologically impaired, as well as maternity and pediatric care. Citizens are only required to pay a small out-of-pocket fee when visiting a doctor or purchasing pharmaceuticals. All healthcare and dental treatment is free for children and young people under 20.
Public healthcare in Sweden is primarily funded through local Government taxes at the county and municipal level and it is highly decentralised. The nation’s county councils are responsible for hospitals and GPs, while its municipalities provide municipal care. The county councils and municipalities are the main providers of healthcare, with only about 10% of all health services delivered by private providers. The Central Government of Sweden issue major guidelines to the county council level who are responsible for carrying out and managing the day-to-day operations. Sweden invests about 9% of its GDP in healthcare annually. Due to the high quality pubic healthcare system available in Sweden, private insurance is not very common, and it is estimated that only 3% of the population is covered by private insurance schemes. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of private healthcare providers, as some companies have started to offer private insurance to their employees. Private hospitals do exist in Sweden, but are mostly contracted by the local councils as part of the national healthcare system. These hospitals are prohibited in offering private healthcare. The ratio of doctors to people in the country is approximately 3.3 to 1000.
Citizens of the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) and those with a European health insurance card (EHIC), who certify that they have made contributions in their home country, are also covered by the national health insurance system in Sweden. They are entitled to have the same benefits as a Swedish citizen under reciprocal healthcare agreements. On the other hand, if you are a non EU/EEA citizen and your country has no agreement of this kind with Sweden, then you may need to obtain private travellers insurance or an annual health care insurance policy to cover any treatment and medication costs incurred during your stay in the country.
As outlined above, the healthcare system in Sweden is heavily funded and operated by the Swedish Government; this has resulted in a long waiting lists for surgery. Furthermore, this has increased not only the patients’ anxiety and pain but also the risk of death in the delay of treatment. The life expectancy in Sweden continues to rise, with about 5% of the population aged 80 and above. Sweden along with Italy has Europe’s largest elderly population as a proportion of the total number of nationals. Moreover, there is an ever-growing expenditure of healthcare expenses in Sweden. All of these factors are causing a strain on the Government budgets.
Although the quality of public healthcare system in Sweden is considered as one of the best in the world, however, individuals do choose to purchase private insurance to “top-up” their public coverage. Some private practitioners are not associated with the Swedish Social Insurance Administration, hence, treatment fees are more costly than the ones with ties to the system. One of the benefits in arranging for private insurance in is that patients with this type of coverage can speed up surgery waiting periods, and are able to choose the facilities and schedule that suits them best. Moreover, they do not have to worry about the relatively more expensive costs of the treatments. In general, Sweden has an excellent healthcare system and expat patients will feel at home no matter what condition they are in.
Pacific Prime is a one-stop insurance brokerage service provider for you when travelling to Sweden. We offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs, including benefits such as dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations and many others. We offer a large variety of health care plans as well as travellers insurance plans. Contact our professional advisors today to enjoy full insurance protection such as a Health Insurance Plan for yourself and your family.