Living in Portugal – Health Care
The Portuguese health care system and health care facilities have undergone major improvements over the last ten years. Nowadays, Portugal has a rather high quality of health care to offer. If you are considering moving to Portugal, whether to live, work, or retire here, we consider it important that you are familiar with our health care system.
Health Care for Those Working in Portugal
For anyone who contributes to the Portuguese social security, as well as their families and retirees, Portugal provides public health care that is either completely free or at a very low cost. If you choose to live and work and Portugal, you will be granted access to not only free basic health care, but also to free basic medicine and free doctor’s appointments. It is, however, worth noting that medicine which is non-essential is not provided for free, and is usually charged between forty and one-hundred percent of its full price.
Health Care for Those Living in Portugal
For all residents of the EU who live in Portugal, the country’s health care system provides a medical card that grants its holder access to free medical treatment at a local health care centre and the local GP.
In order to obtain this medical card, you will be required to provide your social security card and your residence permit. You will also be required to show all three of these documents at the health care centre when looking to apply for medical care. If you live in Portugal, but are not a resident of the EU, your best health care option is to obtain private insurance to cover the cost of medical care in Portugal.
The retired citizens of the EU who seek to move to and live in Portugal, will be required to submit a E121 form. This form will enable you to transfer your health care coverage from your home country to Portugal, and the Portuguese health care system ensures that it will have the same value as that of a Portuguese retiree.
In case you retire before you get to qualify for state pension, you will be required to submit an E106 form. This form will grant you access to free health care cover, that will last two years.
Health Care for Visitors in Portugal
The EU Reciprocal Health Care agreement ensures that all visitors in Portugal that are citizens of the EU are granted access to free Portuguese health care during short visits. To access free health care in Portugal, as a visitor from the EU, you will be required to provide a European Health Insurance Card, formerly known as form E111, and submit it to the health care centre and clinic where you seek to receive medical care during your stay in Portugal.