If you are a foreigner or a Bulgarian who meets the Bulgarian health system for the first time, the following lines are for you. Medical care in the country is provided by doctors in emergency care, primary outpatient care, specialized outpatient care and hospital care.
Emergency help can be found on 112 or on site at the centers and subsidiaries located in major cities. It is free on the territory of the whole country, regardless of the patient's status.
Primary outpatient care is provided by general practitioners acting as gatekeepers and distributing patients to the next levels through referrals.
Specialized medical care is provided by physicians specializing in individual practices or medical centers.
Hospital care is provided by specialized and multiprofile hospitals, which can be for active or long-term treatment and rehabilitation. The departments of the hospitals are classified ex officio by the level of competence, depending on which type of medical activities are limited.
With the exception of Government Emergency Aid, the activities of all other medical establishments are funded by the National Health Insurance Fund. The patient pays for each visit to the doctor BGN 2.90 and BGN 5.80 for each day of hospital stay but does not last for more than 10 days in one year. You should also be aware that the activity of hospitals is limited both financially and by the number of patients to be serviced, so that if the limits are exhausted, you may be refuse d admittance or be required to pay for the treatment. Many medical devices are not paid entirely or partially by the NHIF. These are, for example, artificial joints, hernial lanes, ophthalmic lenses, etc. Patients who are not obligatory insured pay the medical assistance at prices set by the hospital itself.
If you are a foreigner and you are allowed permanent or long-term residence in the country, you are legally insured under the law. The health installment is 8% of the income and 60/40 is distributed between an employer and a worker. If you have not paid more than three installments over the last 5 years, you lose your health insurance rights. You can also make additional health insurance offered by a part of the insurance companies. This voluntary insurance is the only option for foreigners who stay short-term because the law does not allow voluntary insurance in the NHIF.
If you are a citizen of a Member State of the European Union, you also benefit from the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for emergency treatment or if you have a S2 form for a planned treatment. The severe bureaucratic procedure, the filling in of multiple documents and the refusal of the NHIF to pay for the slightest mistake has led to the fact that most doctors in outpatient care avoid working with the EHIC. You can rely on it in hospitals. During the active tourist season - on the Black Sea resorts in the summer and in the mountains during the winter it is best to ask for health insurance from your tour operator because the prices of medical care may surprise you unpleasantly.
If you have problems with your health insurance rights, you can contact the NHIF on +359 800 14 800 or online on the NHIF website --http: //nhif.bg
If you need further information, you can contact us.