Health insurance for EU citizen/US citizen couple


My name is John, I am a US/EU dual citizen living in USA. My wife is a US citizen.

We are considering relocating to Portugal. I want to find some info about health care. As a non-EU citizen, would my wife be eligible for public healthcare, or would there be a waiting period?

I found a very helpful post from a previous thread from a poster, Janine. I want to see if the same would apply for us:

JanineWesterweel :

The process as EU citizen as follows:
- On arrival, apply immediately for NIF (number, not a card) at your local Finance office. For this, you initially have to give proof of residence in your country of origin. You can get your NIF immediately, no waiting process.
- Once you have a NIF, you can open a local bank account with passport, NIF, proof of residence and proof of employment. Activo is geared towards foreigners; has no fees; is online; English-speaking staff; open until 20h00; also has an app. 250 euro required to open your account if you're non-EU and/or have no employment. 
- After 3 months here, you are required to register your intention to stay. Go to your local CLAII office (Local Immigrant Support Center) - much easier and quicker than SEF or CNAI. You need your passport, with proof of entry into the country (so they can establish how many months you've been here) and proof of residence here. We used our short-term booking (6 months) form. Pay 15 euro. My husband's residence card was issued to him the next week. I can tell you that once you have that, it opens many doors!
- Take your residence "card" (it's actually an embossed piece of paper), passport and NIF to your local Segurança Social office to obtain your NISS (Numero Indentificaçao de Segurança Social). We got ours within a week when we went on our own. (My husband's company applied for him and 6 months later he still wasn't registered!) Your wife can piggyback on your residence card for NIF, NISS, bank account and Health Centre.
- Take your residence "card", passport, NIF and NISS to your local Health Centre (Centro de Saude) and ask to be registered. You should receive that registration paper while you wait. I'm told they assign you a family doctor, but we've seen 3 different docs so far. It costs you 4.50 euro for a consultation - but be prepared to wait for HOURS. I'm a diabetic and my consults are free, and so are all of my chronic meds.

Is there anything else that would be required? What about for my wife, who is not an EU citizen?

thank you!



Since she is your wife, she will be automatically put on your medical cover.

I'm in a similar situation with one difference. Both me and my partner are not planning to work - we're not retired - in our 30s. Do you think as EEA citizens we will be able to be covered by Universal Health Care program or we need to buy a private insurance?

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