If you suffer from respiratory or rheumatic problems, there is even better news. The high altitude of the country means that it is a good environment to live in and helps reduce symptoms. You will be breathing in fresh air as there is no heavy industry operating in Andorra, nor extensive pollution.
Andorra has some of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe, and is similar to the French healthcare system. Public health is linked to social contributions. People who do not earn a salary can only use the marginalized public welfare system to receive treatment. Employees who receive below the minimum wage still have to pay social security contributions, but are not entitled to the majority of social security benefits. If you are unemployed or self-employed, you can pay social security voluntarily. The amount you pay depends on your earnings, however you will still have to pay directly for any services that you consume.
The General Council (parliament); the Ministry of Health and Welfare (Ministeri de Salut i Benestar); the Social Security Office (CASS or Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social) and the National Health Service (SAAS or Servei Andorrà d’Atenció Sanitària) govern healthcare in Andorra.
To join CASS, you must be employed by either an Andorran company or private company. An employee pays between 6 and 9% of their salary in contributions to CASS, and the employer pays 13% per employee. If you are not employed and want to opt into the state insurance system, you must pay between 200 and 400 Euros per month.
CASS reimburses 75% of all outpatient medical expenses, and up to 90% of hospital expenses. If you receive treatment from a doctor, you will be given a stamped voucher. To claim your reimbursement, you must take this, along with all other receipts to your local CASS office. You will then be reimbursed by by bank transfer.
Visiting a doctor
You will find that most doctors speak English, and that registering with your local health centre is relatively easy. You can register with the doctor of your choice, including CASS registered practitioners in Spain or France. If you need state medical care, you must ensure that the doctor you see is CASS registered.
There are 10 state-funded health centres in Andorra. They are staffed by nurses, and are responsible for first aid; antenatal and child care; nursing services; home and rehabilitation care; immunisation and general health care. Opening hours of health centres is from Monday to Friday during regular working hours. Some health centres are also open weekends and holidays.
A full list of hospitals and their services can be viewed here.
Andorra has many pharmacists and actually has one of the highest ratios in Europe for pharmacies per capita. Pharmacists are licensed by the government, and can sell approved foreign medications from pharmaceutical companies who have agreements with the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The government passed an act meaning that emergency care is free for everyone, including those without state health insurance. The emergency phone number is 116 and operates 24 hours a day. Most accidents that require emergency care in Andorra tend to be ski related.
Health insurance and private practice
Around 25 percent of Andorrans have private health insurance to top up their state health insurance. Some Andorrans may also choose to visit a private doctor or specialist and there are many private clinics in Andorra. Private doctors are legally allowed to conduct surgical, diagnostic and other treatments in the state hospital. In return, these private doctors must commit to being on call in case of emergency, providing services on behalf of the state.
Only routine visits and checkups are covered by the state healthcare system. For more extensive treatments such as crowns and bridges, you will have to pay yourself.
The information for this guide was provided by Tribune Properties.