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Public v private health insurance as UK expat who is not employed?

Next month I shall be moving to Bucharest, and of course will be needing health coverage of some description.

My understanding is that the public health service is paid for via employer's contributions, which I initially won't be making (although eventually when I receive a dividend that will of course have the 5.5% health insurance surcharge).

Is there any way for me to pay for public healthcare, without being employed, or must I get private insurance?

Cheers

Absolutely you can pay your own public health insurance.  You will have to file a Form 604 with ANAF (Finance Administration) declaring that you have no income in Romania, they will calculate how much you have to pay for the trimester and issue a form with this amount to take to the treasury, where you will pay.  You then take a copy of that receipt of payment from the treasury and a copy of your id and CNP # to CAS (Casa Asigurare Sanatate) and they will issue you a proof of insurance, since foreigners are still not issued insurance cards. 

Once you get a job, you should file a 605 form with ANAF terminating your "persons without income" status, I believe within 2 weeks, or you can be fined.

EDIT: You may want to search the forum for posts from other UK members.  I believe some have said that in order to enroll in the state health insurance here, you must provide proof that you are no longer enrolled in NHS from the UK.  I cannot attest to the accuracy of this requirement.

Romaniac
Expat.com Experts Team

Do you know if dividend income would count for these purposes? I don't plan on ever becoming employed, although I will end up moving the company I contract through to Romania.

williamdunne :

Do you know if dividend income would count for these purposes? I don't plan on ever becoming employed, although I will end up moving the company I contract through to Romania.

According to ANAF, no it does not as there is no way to declare this type of income, especially from abroad.

Romaniac

Ah okay that's interesting, because I will have to pay tax (although it won't be from abroad, it will be from Romania). Not that it matters, the fee I heard is low enough not to be too concerned about it.

State healthcare isn't up to much anyway, and even if something does happen to you (touch wood it doesn't) you have to 'tip' the hospital staff, doctors, and so on. As it stands, you might as well sign up with one of the private healthcare schemes and save yourself all the hassle and paperwork. Romaniac forget to mention the part that requires your documents to be signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

Also, when you arrive, you'll have to register for a 'certificat de inregistrare', which will give you a CNP (something like the Nat. Ins. No.) which you can then use to register for tax purposes and so on. As you won't be employed, you'll have to apply for this certificate as someone living off their own resources, which means you have to prove you have enough money in the bank to support yourself (which is about twenty quid, for some random reason) and have some kind of health insurance. As you're not going to be employed at that point, and, from what Romaniac says, you need the CNP to get the voluntary state health insurance, you'll need some kind of private healthcare to get the CNP to get the form to get the state healthcare to eventually gain the right to be refused a healthcare card.

So I need to sign up for state healthcare even if I just want private insurance? This is very confusing!

Haha, welcome to Romania. Get used to it!

Actually, I think it's the other way round. If you need a CNP (personal code) to get voluntary state healthcare, then you need a residency certificate (as you're an EU citizen, you don't need a permit, just this certificate). The certificate gives you the CNP. But to get this certificate, you have to have healthcare. Now, I think in the UK you have some kind of health card or green card or something like that (I left the UK almost 17 years ago so I've got no idea how things roll now!), which might be ok for getting your certificate. As I never had one of those, when I apply for my certificate (it has to be renewed every 5 years) I need to show I have health cover. Before I was employed, I had to do this by taking out private health insurance.

In my mind, the easiest thing would be to come here, take out private healthcare (it's not a lot of cash), and use this, your passport, a bank statement and something showing where you live (rental contract, for example) to get your 'certificat de inregistrare'. This'll give you the CNP, which you can use to register for tax purposes, so that you can collect your divs and pay the tax on them.

This basically minimizes dealings with the state offices, which in turn dramatically reduces time used, hair lose, nervous breakdowns, 'donations', and other hassles. The 'certificat de inregistrare' is actually quite easy to get - last time I was at the offices, the staff were reasonably efficient and you can pop back in a day or two to pick it up.

williamdunne :

So I need to sign up for state healthcare even if I just want private insurance? This is very confusing!

No, not at all, but it does provide for discounts or cost free meds if you do have CAS insurance.  Yes, it is a paradox of sorts, you need insurance to get the CNP, and a CNP to get CAS insurance.  With many formalities here, it seems you need an understanding of quantum physics to accomplish some tasks  :lol:

Maykal :

Romaniac forget to mention the part that requires your documents to be signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

No, I didn't forget Maykal :)...this process actually is not that difficult aside from the going about to 3 different places every few months, compared to other issues that need to be dealt with concerning government offices.  Yes there is bureaucracy and uninformed functionaries that will tell you "nu se poate" (translated: it can't be done); and it is utter nonsense, but let's not exaggerate or confuse newcomers

I think I may just opt to only go with private insurance, rather than having to go to three places every three months!

I just looked at phone/tv/internet prices. That was nice :D

williamdunne :

I think I may just opt to only go with private insurance, rather than having to go to three places every three months!

Not a bad choice, as the quality of care will be somewhat better, and you'll know exactly what you have to pay as the prices are typically posted.

Forget about cable TV - with cheap fast internet there's nothing that can't be streamed or downloaded. I'm talking about out-of-copyright and free-to-distribute material only, obviously.  :top:

The main reason I would opt for TV would be Romanian content, I've never had much luck with live streaming channels and it could be a good resource I think for learning.

Let's try to stay on topic here please.  William, if you have any questions about media/communication or anything else, feel free to open another topic or comment on an existing thread.

Thanks

Romaniac
Expat.com Experts Team

I guess this is back on topic, but what is a good insurance provider? I looked at the hospitals mentioned elsewhere and I could see they had some subscription plans but I could not see insurance

Yes it is possible to have insurance without being employed or a pensioner in  both cases the deductions are made automatically. In the case of my wife and I we pay cash at the National Insurance house every six months. You must have previously made a contract with them but how you do this depends on your particular circumstances re residence etc.
I hope this helps,

Greg

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