You may be covered by a reciprocal agreement between your home country and Cyprus, but this may not provide adequate cover, and you should check. Citizens of certain countries should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (see below). This is only for short stays such as holidays and business trips and covers you only for essential (and not routine) healthcare. If your country doesn’t have an agreement with Cyprus and you aren’t covered by Cypriot social insurance, you must have private health insurance.
If you plan to spend up to six months in Cyprus, you should take out either a long-stay policy or an annual international health policy, which should cover you in your home country and when travelling in other countries.
European Health Insurance Card
If you’re a citizen of an EEA country or of Switzerland, you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your local social security office at least three weeks before you plan to travel to Cyprus. This entitles you to free or reduced cost medical treatment in Cyprus for up to 90 days.
The EHIC is open-ended and valid for life provided you continue to make social security contributions in the country where it was issued; if you become a resident in another country (e.g. in Cyprus) it becomes invalid. An EHIC covers emergency hospital treatment but doesn’t include prescribed medicines, special examinations, X-rays, laboratory tests, physiotherapy and dental treatment.
Britons can obtain further information about the UK’s reciprocal health agreement with Cyprus from the Department of Social Security, Pensions and Overseas Benefits Directorate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE98 1BA, UK (Tel. 0191-218 7777, www.dwp.gov.uk).
This article is an extract from Buying a Home in Cyprus from Survival Books.