In Tunisia, health insurance is never useless. Even if costs are generally less expensive than in your country, the public health system does not always offer satisfactory conditions.
Many expatriates and some locals get private health insurance in Tunisia to receive better care and higher reimbursements.
The Tunisian Health Care System
Cheaper Care Than in Europe and US
Tunisia has many public and private health establishments. As well as highly qualified general practitioners and specialists.
However, the offer is not the same everywhere. To be taken care of promptly and under satisfactory conditions, it is advisable to seek treatment in a large city. And preferably in the private sector, as the public one suffers from a lack of investment.
The cost of health care in the country is generally less expensive than in Europe, both for drugs and for care.
However, the prices charged in the private sector are free and variable. You will have to pay at least the equivalent of 10 euros for a general practitioner, and 20 for a specialist. A visit to the dentist will cost about 25 euros, and a night in hospital, about 60 euros.
In Tunisia, Health Insurance Provides Extended Coverage
The Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie (CNAM) is the organization that manages health insurance for Tunisians and resident foreigners. Membership is mandatory for all.
For workers, it is usually the employer who takes care of the membership procedures.
The person insured by the CNAM and his or her dependents will benefit from coverage that varies according to the number of days worked.
People suffering from chronic illnesses or long-term conditions are covered at 100%, while others pay a co-payment*.
The CNAM covers health services received in public or private establishments under an agreement.
It is therefore often interesting to subscribe to an international policy in Tunisia to benefit from better reimbursements, better guarantees, and coverage of care in the private sector.
Choosing the Right Health Insurance for Tunisia
Local or International Insurer?
In Tunisia, health insurance with an international company will be more interesting in most cases.
The policies meet the specific needs of foreigners in Tunisia. And allow simplified management of contracts and exchanges with English-speaking interlocutors who know the local issues.
International health insurance in Tunisia also allows you to benefit from a waiver of advance payment in some partner establishments.
But the main interest of this type of policy is that it assists out of Tunisia. And it also will provide additional guarantees like repatriation assistance. And this is not the case with a local insurer.
Be careful: having an international medical policy in Tunisia does not exempt you from joining the public system and paying your contributions!
Private Health Insurance in Tunisia: 1st Euro Policies
One of the most popular types of private health insurance in Tunisia is the “1st euro/dollar” policies.
This type of coverage is generally appreciated for its good value for money. Care is reimbursed at the actual cost. And they are very flexible.
There are many formulas on the market offering a wide range of coverage levels. And it is possible to add options according to one’s needs.
You will almost always find a solution adapted to your needs and your budget. Even if the mandatory health questionnaire may lead to exclusions of coverage.
Social Security in Tunisia as Your Health Insurance
In some cases, you might be able to get coverage from your country’s Social Security.
The biggest benefit is in its public service spirit. Social Security is often obliged to insure any citizen who applies for it, without adding any additional premium or exclusions of coverage.
Therefore, there is no health questionnaire to fill out upon enrollment, and pre-existing conditions are covered.
Social Security reimbursements and rates are the same as the ones in your home country in most cases.
And it can happen that they are not enough to cover all your expenses. Particularly in the case of hospitalization or care received in the private sector.
In any case, it is recommended to subscribe to a supplementary plan. It will provide you with additional guarantees in the same scope as the 1st euro contracts.
Social Security is not very flexible and it does not include repatriation assistance, for example.
This supplementary insurance should be taken out with another organization. It will apply the same conditions regarding the medical questionnaire as any private insurer.