02.3 Health and Welfare

The Health and Social Welfare System in Cyprus

The Health Insurance System in Cyprus

Free Treatment

The right to the free, public health insurance in Cyprus is dependent on a person’s income. Free medical treatment is offered to government employees, individuals whose annual income is lower than €15,377.41 and families whose annual income does not exceed €30,754.82 (with an allowance of €1,708.60 per child). On top of this, medical treatment for all families with 3 or more children and for persons with chronic illnesses or disability is covered by the state.

Reduced Contributions

Medical treatment is available at reduced rates for couples without children who have an annual income between €15,377.41 and €20,503.22, and families with an annual income between €30,754.83 and €37,589.23 (additional to the allowance of €1,708.60 per child).

Paying Patients

Persons which do not fall under the aforementioned categories, may access healthcare services offered by the state in exchange for a monthly contribution.

Furthermore, all necessary medical treatment in emergency rooms is free, regardless of the financial situation of the patient or his citizenship. This also includes all visitors to Cyprus. All further treatment and rehabilitation are again subject to payment.

The public health care system is financed via the general tax system.

Private Health Insurance in Cyprus

Private health care is primarily provided by a large number of private clinics and hospitals. The monthly cost of private health insurance in Cyprus is substantially lower than the EU average. For example, a 43 year old man can obtain private health insurance with international validity for c. €50.00 (treatment, single room, head physician).

The Social Welfare System in Cyprus

Social Insurance

All persons gainfully employed in Cyprus are obliged to pay social insurance contributions, the height of which is determined on the basis of income. This duty is regardless of whether a person is employed by another person or company, or is self-employed, and also includes public servants and apprentices.

Persons who are employed by a Cyprus company abroad or simply wish to do so, may to make voluntary contributions to social insurance or who are employed by a Cyprus company abroad, provided they have already paid statutory social insurance for the prescribed period.

A person’s pension is financed by the contributions to the social insurance by the individual himself, his employer and the state. For employees the amount to be paid into the pension fund is currently at 17.9% of the income. The employee and employer each pay 6.8% and the state pays 4.3%. Of course, these numbers are subject to change. In the case of self-employment the mandatory contribution is 16.9% of the expected income. 12.6% must be contributed by the individual themselves, and 4.3% by the state. Voluntary contributors pay 14.8% of their expected income, with 11% being contributed by the individual and 3.8% by the state.

Transfer of your Social Insurance Contributions

Since May 1, 2004, EU Regulation 1408/71 has been in force in Cyprus. The Regulation coordinates the social insurance systems of the member states of the EU, the EEC and Switzerland. EU Regulation 1408/71 protects the social insurance claims of persons who move from one EU member state to another. The Regulation enforces the following:

  • No discrimination on the basis of nationality (equal treatment).
  • Employees are only subject to one state’s national law at any one time.
  • The acquired entitlement is protected(period of contribution, period of employment, period of residency).
  • The services to which a right has been required are protected (for example, you may claim your right to a particular service in every EU country).

On top of this, Cyprus has signed agreements with 4 further countries outside the EU with the objective of protecting social insurance rights of those who reside in both countries. These countries are Canada, Quebec, Egypt and Australia.

Type of Service, Service Receiver and Content:

The insurance system offers several different services. These are: Marriage Allowance, Maternity Benefits, Maternity Pay, Sick Pay, Funeral Allowance, Unemployment Benefits, Orphan’s Pension, Retirement Pension, Widow’s Pension and Disability Pension.

Furthermore, the social insurance covers free medical care for work place accidents, occupational illnesses and for retirees in need of long term care.

  • Marriage Allowance
    Employed and self-employed married individuals as well as married voluntary contributors, based on the respective contributions. In 2009, the Marriage Allowance amounted to €317.00 per person.
  • Maternity Benefits
    Mothers, who by themselves or by way of their spouse are subject to taxation, employees, self-employed persons and voluntary contributors. In 2009, Maternity Benefits were €466.00.
  • Funeral Allowance
    Employees, self-employed persons, voluntary contributors and retirees. In 2009, the Funeral Allowance was €634.00. The allowance is paid to the widow/widower or the person who organised the funeral.
  • Maternity Pay
    Women who are employeed, self-employed or voluntary contributors, working for Cyprus companies abroad. Maternity Pay is paid for a period of 18 weeks.
  • Sick Pay
    Employees, self-employed persons or voluntary contributors, working for Cyprus companies abroad. Sick Pay is paid for a period of up to 156 days per period of sick leave.
  • Unemployment Benefits
    Employees and voluntary contributors, working for Cyprus companies abroad. Unemployment Benefits are paid during unemployment for a period of up to 156 days.
  • Disability Pension
    Employees, self-employed persons and voluntary contributors, working for Cyprus companies abroad. The Disability Pension is to persons who cannot work for a period of 156 days and in cases where permanent inability to work is to be expected.
  • Retirement Pension
    Employees, self-employed persons and voluntary contributors. An insured person will be eligible to receive his/her pension from the age of 65. Under specific circumstances the pension may already be paid from the age of 63.
  • Widow’s Pension
    Employees, self-employed persons and voluntary contributors. The Widow’s Pension is paid to women who lived with their husband until his death or received financial support from him until his death. The pension may also be paid to men who are unable to support themselves or who were dependent on the financial support of their wife until her death.
  • Orphan’s Pension
    Employees, self-employed persons and voluntary contributors.

If an orphan is under the age of 18 or is incapacitated, regardless of his/her age, the Orphan’s Pension is paid to the person responsible for the orphan. In all other cases the pension is paid to the orphan personally. The Orphan’s Pension is paid until the orphan comes of age. If the orphan is permanently incapacitated, the pension is paid throughout his/her life.

Services in cases of Work Place Accidents

  • Sick Pay
    Employees. Sick Pay is paid as of the fourth day on which the employee is unable to work. If the inability to work is a result of a work place accident or occupational illness, sick pay can be paid for up to 12 months.
  • Occupational Disability Pension
    Employees. The size of this pension depends on the severity of the occupational disability. The Occupational Disability Pension is paid to persons who, as a result of a work place accident or occupational illness, have at least a 20% occupational disability. The pension is paid on a lifelong basis, or until the person recovers. An Occupational Disability Allowance is paid to persons suffering from a 10-19% occupational disability.
  • Death Benefits
    Employees. Death Benefits are paid to the surviving relatives of an employee who has died as a result of a work place accident or occupational disability. Death Benefits include Widow’s Pension, Orphan’s Pension and Parental Allowance.
[Total: 6   Average: 4.2/5]