Malta, a country right off the coast of Sicily, has become a popular retirement destination because of its warm climate, English-speaking locals, and favorable tax incentives. Although seemingly secluded, this island has become one of the top international destinations in the world with a net migration of 2.02 for a population of 1,000 according to the CIA World Factbook (2009). This means that for every 1,000 people, roughly 2 people have immigrated to Malta in one year.
As it becomes increasingly common to retire abroad, more and more individuals are now calling Malta their new home. One of the many attractions is its high-quality health care system. Malta offers both public and private health care depending on your needs.
- Public Health Care- If you receive treatment from a health center or emergency treatment in a hospital, treatment is free of charge. It is important to note that you will only be able to receive treatment in your designated local health center (determined by your residential area). Also, private hospital rooms are unavailable. The public health care option is funded by taxation and financed through the Ministry of Health.
- Private Health Care- You also have the option to visit a private practitioner or hospital while in Malta. These providers will charge a fee for service rendered and are unaffiliated with the government health care system. All private care facilities, except General Practitioners and specialist consulting offices, are licensed by the Public Health Authorities.
If you will be traveling to Malta for a short-term trip, you may want to look into whether there is a reciprocity agreement for free health care. In recent years, Malta has established a reciprocity agreement with the European Union and Australia allowing individuals to receive free medical and hospital care if their stay is less than one month. If you plan to stay longer, you may want to look into a Malta travel insurance plan like the single trip insurance.
If you are planning to stay for a year or longer, you may want to consider a Malta expatriate insurance plan that will cover you internationally including in Malta. In deciding between a local or international insurance plan, you may want to consider the following:
- If I get sick, would I want to receive treatment in Malta or do I want the option to choose which country I’d like to receive my treatment?
- Do I anticipate staying in Malta long-term? If not, would it be difficult to get insurance coverage if I decide to return to my home country?
In particular, the United States can be difficult to find affordable coverage should you later decide to return to the US. In many cases, you may need to show proof of insurance in order to receive coverage for any pre-existing conditions. Individuals have found Malta expatriate insurance plans better suited for them since they can continue with the same plan regardless of their country of residence.
There are a couple of options for expatriate health insurance in Malta. Anyone around the world is able to have worldwide coverage or worldwide coverage excluding the US. These plans provide coverage up to $5,000,000 or more and include hospitalization and outpatient care, prescription medication, mental health, and pre-existing condition coverage.
If you are a US citizen looking for expat health insurance in China that has an unlimited policy maximum, another plan option is the Geo Blue Xplorer. The GeoBlue Xplorer health plan is a great plan for US citizens who travel to or from the United States for extended periods of business, leisure, and study. If you leave home for six months or more, your health and financial security are at serious risk because of significant gaps in most available insurance coverage and services. This risk is only heightened by limited knowledge of health and safety hazards around the world, including medical treatment from unfamiliar providers.