Updated 3 days ago

How is Romania’s health care system and can you make full use of it as an expat? How much will you be paying for medical services? Find out in this article.

When moving to a foreign country, access to health care will probably be one of your major concerns. If you are moving to Romania, finding health care services should not be difficult, although the Romanian health care system is quite lacking compared to that of most European countries. In general, however, local hospitals and clinics provide various health care services for everyone, including expatriates.

Health care system

Health care services are provided by hospitals, clinics, as well as by doctors who are members of the Romanian College of Medicine. Most major cities host their own hospitals and clinics which are fairly equipped. You will also find a large number of pharmacies in major cities. However, their number and accessibility will get more modest as you venture further into smaller towns and villages.

While public hospitals, in general, provide quality medical care, it is recommended that you attend a private clinic. Public hospitals are often crowded and you may need to wait for quite a while for your appointment. In all cases, expatriates are required to subscribe to a private health insurance before travelling to Romania. This will allow you to get a refund if you seek health care in a private healthcare institution.

Support

The National Health Insurance House (NHIS) manages the health and maternity insurance in Romania. Most treatments are financed by contributions made by employers and the insured, including employees, independent workers, and the unemployed. To claim a refund for general health services, you will have to designate either a family doctor or a general practitioner. Otherwise, enrolment for health insurance will be deemed invalid.

Contributions are made as follows:

  • benefits in kind: 5.2% by the employer and 5.5% by the insured
  • cash benefits: 0.85% by the employer capped at 12 times the equivalent
  • the equivalent of the national minimum gross salary, multiplied by the number of insured workers.

Some health care services have to be partly financed by the patient. In this case, their annual contribution should not exceed 1/12 of their annual net income. But the following are exempt from this contribution:

  • less than 18-year-old minors
  • less than 26-year-old students who do not receive any form of income
  • the spouse or parents of the person who does not receive any form of income
  • pensioners whose monthly income does not exceed 740 lei.

As regards refund for medication, this is performed in three categories:

  • A: 90% refund by the NHIS
  • B: 50% refund by the NHIS
  • C: 100% refund by the NHIS

Medical services provided by the NHIS include health care provided by general and specialised practitioners, outpatient care, hospitalisation, medication, medical devices, re-education, preventive medical assistance, maternity health care services, transport of patients, and other services. Note that hospitalisation is refunded at 100% when it has been recommended by your doctor or specialist or in case of emergency. However, if you have requested better hospitalisation services or particularly high standard of services, you will have to bear the exceeding costs.

Social security

Social contributions apply to both employers and employees. These also apply to physical persons receiving income from royalties and civil conventions, independent workers, physical persons receiving taxable income and involved in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and partnerships without legal status, as well as retirees whose pension exceeds 160 euros, and, finally, public institutions.

 Good to know:

All legal residents in Romania are covered by the NHIS. This includes foreigners if they are permanent residents.

To be eligible for public health care services in Romania, you must have contributed to the social security system for at least six months during the last 12 calendar months. Students are also eligible for public health care, even if they do not contribute to the system. As regards temporary residents and diplomatic staff in Romania, who are recognised by local authorities, they are eligible for voluntary coverage.

Note that contributions are made directly to the NHIS thanks to the taxpayer's national tax identification number (TIN).

 Useful links:

National Health Insurance House – NHIS
European Health Insurance Card
Embassy of the US in Romania
NHS Choices – Healthcare in Romania guidelines

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.