Health insurance in Portugal is so robust that there is provision of comprehensive health care for all. This is as a result of the implementation of health reforms that provides high quality universal health care system for all legal residents. Therefore, all expatriates in Portugal are eligible for health insurance.

Portugal’s health care system is one of the bests in Europe. This system has raised the life expectancy ratio to about 82% in 2023. The country is always happy to take care of the health needs of its citizens and residents and as such offers affordable and accessible public and private healthcare.

It is worthy of note that the quality of health care in Portugal vary from place to place. For instance, if you are in the urban area, the quality of health care will be better. You will have good quality private hospitals with English speaking staff. However, if you’re living or visiting the rural areas and smaller towns, you may find health care access challenging as you will not be able to access the same quality of health care as in the major cities. However, whether you choose to subscribe to public or private insurance scheme in Portugal, you are under legal compulsion to have some form of health coverage in Portugal, unless those who are older than 65 years.


As we have stated above, Portugal’s health care system is available and accessible to all legal residents. It is also available for visitors depending on the nationality of such visitor. For clarity, the system is available to;

  1. Expatriate residents
  2. EU & EEA citizens
  3. Non EU citizens
  4. UK citizens


In Portugal, free public health care system is available and accessible to all legal residents including expatriates. The procedure is to apply as a resident and also register in the Portuguese social security system. This is for those who are employed or self-employed. Thus, once you are enrolled as a resident, you will be able to register at your health insurance at your area. And receive health card after the registration. This health card comes with your health number which you will have to show before benefitting from the Portuguese public health insurance system


The European Union citizens can receive health care in Portugal for up to 90 days. However, to do this, they have to provide the European Health Insurance card. It is worthy of note that after the 90 days, such citizen will need to formally apply for a legal resident to continue to enjoy the healthcare system or such person will private insurance provider. Similarly, those who are from the EEA may be eligible to benefit from the public health system for up to 90 days.


In Portugal, those who are EEA, EU or UK citizens who possesses GHIC will not be able to access public health care as a visitor for a short term. Thus, if you are a visitor to Portugal for a short term or a temporary worker and not registered as a resident, you will need to register for private insurance coverage for all your health care need.


UK citizens with their Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) can access public health insurance in Portugal.


In Portugal, private health insurance is available and accessible for people of all ages. It is also affordable and does not contain deductibles and provides coverage for even pre-existing conditions. Full time residents in Portugal who are expatriates have access to both public and private health insurance systems.

The cost of private health insurance in Portugal depends on the age and the level of insurance coverage. Similarly, it could also depend on the insurance company. Generally, the cost may range between 30 to 150 pounds per month.

The private health insurance in Portugal operates as an alternative for expats who do not qualify for the public health system. For instance, those whose visit is for a short time i.e less than 90 days.

Health Insurance Coverage in Portugal

The coverage in Portugal may include but not limited the under listed health issues

  1. Coverage for Childbirth
  2. Emergencies like accident or others
  3. Extraordinary events (e.g. injuries from war or a natural disaster)
  4. Fertility issues treatment (if you’re younger than 39)
  5. Infectious diseases treatment
  6. Medically advised cosmetic surgery
  7. Preventive health services (e.g. drug and alcohol addiction)
  8. accidents and illnesses related to work
  9. Dental cares.


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