Initial health insurance. – Healthcare in Portugal – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Initial health insurance.


Posts: 9
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(@islandgirl)
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Joined: 7 months ago

My name is Joanne and my husband and I are moving to Portugal in a couple of weeks. We are retirees and have our S1 form. We intend to apply for residency as soon as we arrive. We have an initial six month rental arranged. Can anyone give me an idea on the length of time we will need to have private health insurance before we are accepted as being entitled to Portuguese health care? Or don’t we need any private cover? Thanks!

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(@x-camone)
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Joined: 11 years ago

In your situation, comng from another EU member state, private health cover is not a pre-requisite to registering residency.

Once you have your EU citizen registration certificate, you can enrol in the public health system - you'll need to approach Social Security in Portugal about this so that they can complete the S1 admin with your home country.

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Community Member
(@islandgirl)
Joined: 7 months ago

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Posts: 9

@x-camone

Thanks for your reply. Do we need cover for the period between arriving and registering our S1 form?

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(@x-camone)
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@islandgirl

Aha, I see you've spotted my evasiveness!

It isn't necessary in terms of administrative procedures for registering residence and you won't be refused urgent medical treatment if you need it.

However, mention of S1 leads me to assume you're UK citizens, and coming from the UK, right? So a couple of things to bear in mind. First, your local Câmara might not issue you with a residence registration certificate until 90 days after your arrival, which delays when you can register in the health service. Second, UK-issued EHIC cards become redundant as of 1st Jan, so your basic fallback during the not-enrolled period ends then.

I'm not completely sure off the top of my head of the full procedure here with regard to S1 registration and whether you get a kind of provisional enrolment at your local health centre or whether you have to wait until the full bilateral admin is sorted before you can do so. Maybe another poster who has recently gone through that process can clarify based on their experience.

Under the circumsances, you might feel it reassuring to have private health insurance for an initial period as backup. There is, of course, the matter of charges if you did require attention, to be considered. But it isn't necessary from the "what do I need in order to get residence sorted" angle.

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Posts: 9
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Topic starter
(@islandgirl)
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Joined: 7 months ago

We are actually UK/Canadian citizens - having spent the last 12 years in Canada.  We do not have EHIC cards unfortunately. Could we buy private cover in Portugal? We don’t really want to use Canadian travel insurance if possible.

Do you have to register at a Camara specific to your address or can you go anywhere? 

Thanks again

Joanne

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(@x-camone)
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Posts: 2245
Posted by: @islandgirl

Could we buy private cover in Portugal? We don’t really want to use Canadian travel insurance if possible.

The only possible obstacle I can see to your doing that is not having a verifiable address. Once you've got that and a tax number, I wouldn't think it would be too difficult to persuade an insurance company into taking your money. Perhaps someone who actually has a Portuguese private health insurance policy might remember if anything else is required and give some info on that if they're reading.

 

Do you have to register at a Camara specific to your address or can you go anywhere? 

Yes, the registration of residence can only be done at your specific Câmara.

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