Health Mutual in Portugal : which option to choose ?

Searching an insurance as an expatriate may be a real obstacle course, especially if you don’t speak Portuguese. Ask a quote nearby several insurance companies is primordial, in particular to know the advantages and disadvantages of each insurance and thus choose the product that fits you best. In Portugal, being covered by the Portuguese social security allows you to be healed / treated in public institutions. A simple consultation will be less expensive than in the private sector but the waiting time to get an appointment will be much longer and you won’t be able to choose your referring doctor. In order to reduce the costs related to your mutual, it is important to ask yourself: in which situation I want to use my mutual? Am I going frequently to the doctor? The dentist? In case of hospitalization, I want to be treated in France or use my mutual in Portugal? These are only few examples of questions that are important to think about before taking your decision. Indeed, some mutual will cover more or less well these different points and if you did not make your choice correctly at the beginning, you may face unforeseen events the day you will have to use your mutual. Lisbob, assistant for expats, in partnership with Inov Expat, tells you everything about health mutual in Portugal.

Health Mutual in Portugal : which option to choose ?

Health Mutual in Portugal : which option to choose ?

What’s your Health Mutual?


The mutual is an insurance product subscribed to a private insurance company. It is entirely possible to subscribe directly to those companies but if you don’t speak the language, it might me complicated to understand the details of the coverages and to know what the amount of the premium means. Calling a brokerage firm specialized in expatriates such as INOV Expat, is a very appreciated option, indeed, the firm will work on a comparative of different options to offer you the solution that match your needs, at the best price and the service will be in the language of your choice (French, English and Spanish).

Some information about your Health Mutual to avoid surprises! 


Contrarily to what a lot of people can imagine, in Portugal, with a private Health Mutual, even if waiting times are significantly reduced, some medical acts can be subjected to a waiting time (surgical intervention except urgency or childbirth).


On the other part, even if the costs are importantly reduced, you will have to contribute with a small participation when you use medical services (this participation will depend on the medical act and with which insurance company you subscribed your insurance).

That is why it is important to know if you want to pay more for your mutual and get a cheaper co-payment for your consultations or pay a cheaper mutual but get a more important co-payment. This second option will suit more the population that go only 1 or 2 times a year to the doctor.


What’s more, you will need an authorization of the company in case of surgical intervention that you’ll get relatively quickly; the latter won’t be necessary in case of vital urgency.


International Expatriation Mutual or Portuguese Mutual ? 


International Expatriation Mutual 


Subscribe an International insurance is to make sure to be well and quickly reimbursed, to have access to a qualitative assistance, a large coverage which take in charge (most of the time) optic and dental. However, it is certainly the most expensive offer on the market.


According to us, the International mutual is the ideal option for a stay from 4 to 6 month abroad. After this period, it will be more appropriate to subscribe a Portuguese Mutual.


Few examples of International Health Mutual: April, Cigna, Bupa, Allianz…


It’s important to choose wisely

It’s important to choose wisely


Portuguese Mutual


Take a Portuguese Mutual is certainly the best option to choose on the long term. Insurance companies adapting their prices on the living standard of the country, it will be the most economical option for very food services. You will have to fill in a health application at the moment of the subscription. Then, you will have access to a private medical network and will pay less your consultations.


However, very often, insurance companies don’t have a service in French. It will be useful to get closer to a French brokerage firm or to an organism that help expatriates.


Few examples of Portuguese Health Mutual: MultiCare, AdvanceCare, Médis…


Important point :


Before choosing your mutual, it is important to think about several elements that will determine toward what you want to go. For example, if you wear glasses, go often to the doctor or the dentist, if you think that you will get an operation in the next months, if you see a specialist… And the budget you want to dedicate to your health insurance.

As you understood, the public health system in Portugal, even if it offers qualitative care, impose not only to be patient but also the non-freedom of choose of your family doctor. To avoid stressful queues, to consult the practitioner of your choice, to choose his hospital or his clinic but also to benefit from a faster medical service (in particular for emergencies) you should choose a private health insurance. In addition of your Portuguese social security card, a health card will be given to you by the insurance company.


Benefits of the Health Mutual: 


·      An immediate and competent care service

·     A direct access to specialists 

·      Having a single/private room in case of hospitalization is no longer a luxury

·      During a business travel or a travel abroad, the health mutual allows to be eligible in case of need, to a repatriation service and a travel insurance

·     Some mutuals reimbursed the costs made abroad (between 50 and 70%) 

You can get a free health insurance quote with our partner Inov Expat ! English-speaking insurance broker in Portugal.

Discover Lisbob’s library !

Lisbob is expats assistant in Portugal : check out how he can help you !