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Expat Exchange - Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to Hungary?
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Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to Hungary?

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Is health insurance a requirement when you are moving to Hungary? This article explores health insurance requirements for newcomers to Hungary.

When planning your move to Hungary as an expat or digital nomad, one of the essential considerations is your health insurance coverage. Hungary has a public healthcare system, but as a newcomer, you won't have immediate access to it. Therefore, it's crucial to have private health insurance upon arrival, which is also a requirement for obtaining residency. The insurance must typically cover emergency medical expenses, hospitalization, and sometimes even repatriation. The minimum coverage amount and length of coverage required can vary, so it's important to check the latest regulations from Hungarian immigration authorities or consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure compliance.

Does Expat Health Insurance Meet the Requirements?

Most expat health insurance plans are designed to meet the requirements set by various countries for residency applications. However, it's important to verify that the plan you choose is accepted by Hungarian authorities. The insurance policy should provide comprehensive coverage that includes at least emergency medical care, hospitalization, and repatriation services. It's advisable to have a policy that covers you for the entire duration of your residency permit, as this is often a condition for renewal. Always read the fine print and confirm that the insurance meets the minimum coverage amounts stipulated by Hungary's immigration policies.

Which local health insurers offer this type of insurance?

In Hungary, there are several local health insurers that offer plans suitable for expats and digital nomads. Companies like Generali, Allianz, and Union Biztosító are well-established and provide a range of health insurance products that can be tailored to meet the requirements for residency. These insurers have a good understanding of the local healthcare system and can offer plans that will ensure you have access to necessary medical services. Additionally, they often have customer service available in multiple languages, which can be a significant advantage for those who are not yet fluent in Hungarian.

Advice from Expats in Hungary about Health Insurance

Experienced expats in Hungary often emphasize the importance of obtaining a health insurance plan that not only meets the legal requirements but also provides peace of mind. Look for a plan with a straightforward claims process and one that has a good network of hospitals and doctors. It's also wise to consider whether the plan includes preventive care and dental coverage, as these can be important for long-term health and well-being. Expats recommend reading reviews and comparing different insurance plans to find one that offers a balance between coverage and cost. Lastly, ensure that you have a clear understanding of the policy's terms, especially regarding any exclusions, waiting periods, and the process for renewing the policy in line with your residency status.

Expats Talk about Health Insurance in Hungary

"I do have health insurance back in the US. However I discovered that if I ask for an "official" bill (understand one with the required AFA/VAT) then the price jumps disproportionately. Give you an example; I had a toothache and a little swelling. I found out which local dentist had an x-ray. He took an x-ray, relieved the swelling, prescribed antibiotics and recommended a root canal which he didn't do. The price was 10,000 forints (very cheap compared to the US). Figuring that I could file with my insurance company in the US, I asked for a "bill"! Big mistake; the price instantly chanced to 17,000 forints. So now for minor stuff I pay out of pocket," said one expat who moved to Fonyod, Hungary.

"I worked for an International Organization here in Hungary for 6 years and have since retired, staying in Hungary. I am not yet eligible for national healthcare so I purchased a doctor policy from the clinic where I go (English speaking doctors) and I also purchased a separate hospitalization policy. All together this costs less than $150 a month and there are cheaper plans if you need to limit the number of doctor visits. Note, this does not include the cost of medication, but since I am not on any regular medicine, it isn't an issue. But, when I do need a prescription, I find that it is very inexpensive. Of course, there are more expensive health insurance plans out there, but I find that what I have works very well for me," mentioned one member in Hungary.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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