Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am new on this forum and this is my first posting. I wonder if someone could help us with a question we seem to be spinning our wheels on!

My wife and I are both Canadian citizens and intend immigrating to Portugal within the next year. We have visited several times over the past few years and definitely feel this is the right choice for us. We are both over 60 years of age and enjoy excellent health. However, national healthcare is one of our most important concerns. We would like to know if we can apply for Utente cards when we land in Portugal? Would we have to pay or would we, with residence visas, have the same rights as Portuguese citizens?

We cannot seem to get an answer to this question. We have asked several sources, but each one has a different answer. Even the responsible government departments seem to be giving us the run-around at worst or are very vague at best. Government publications tell us one thing, and then officials tell us another. An official of one of the health centres told us that we cannot get a Utente card for 10 years until we become Portuguese citizens!?! Is this true? The government publications say something else. I understand that everyone in Portugal is entitled to health care but at what cost as new immigrants?

As private health insurance is extremely expensive around retirement age, and then becomes inaccessible a few years later, a correct answer is fundamental for us to assess whether we will be able to afford to make this move both financially and from a security perspective!

Unfortunately all the articals, books and forums I have found only seem to address this issue from an EU citizen point of view.

I hope someone out there has the answers. Many thanks.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
48,747 Posts
I don't know about Portugal in particular, but within the EU the "normal" process for retirees entering from outside the EU is that you must show evidence of private health insurance in order to qualify for a long-stay visa in the first place.

If you're coming to Portugal to work, you are enrolled in the national insurance system (not just health care, but retirement and other benefits) through your employment. But it's the participation in the full social insurance system that entitles you to benefits, not simply residence in the country. The EU countries have some way of transferring balances for those who have paid in in one country, but who are taking retirement in another EU country.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
If you find out can u please let me know. I also am from Canada a want to retire in Portugal withing the next 5 years. I would be very interested in knowing how it all works.
Thanks Diane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for this insight Bev. I understand exactly what you are saying. But I do have a government publication which says that if you have a residence visa, you can get a health card! Problem is, the officials in the various departments do not seem to know or subscribe to this. In Canada, if you are a landed immigrant, you are eligible for national health coverage, no questions asked! So I am somewhat of this mind-set. I hope I am right!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
[thanks for the info. where in canada are you from. My daughter married someone from portugal and after visiting a few times, i think i would love to live there at least 6 months of the year. not sure about the permanent thing, but we will see.
I was worried about the medical there for sure since i am getting OLD haha.
I would love to hear how it all turns out for you in the end, good luck with everything diane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I am also in Vancouver. We have been to portugal several times in the last few years and have decided to retire there if healthcare is accessible. The people are amazing, the country is beautiful and the sun shines as well. We plan to buy a home in the Algarve because of the warmer weather, although the silver coast runs a very close 2nd, (especially Nazare area). We will be spending Christmas and New Year in the Algarve again this year.

Will let you know if we learn any more about the healthcare, although if it comes by way of this forum (as I hope it will), you will see the info when I do. By the way, I think you are lucky to have a new ready-made Potuguese family now! This will make your stays in Portugal a lot more meaningful now. You will have access to an "inside track".
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
48,747 Posts
Thanks for this insight Bev. I understand exactly what you are saying. But I do have a government publication which says that if you have a residence visa, you can get a health card! Problem is, the officials in the various departments do not seem to know or subscribe to this. In Canada, if you are a landed immigrant, you are eligible for national health coverage, no questions asked! So I am somewhat of this mind-set. I hope I am right!
Depends on how Portugal defines and handles "residence visas." In some EU countries, your first visa (or residence card) is for a year or two, then you renew it a couple of times and then you get a full fledged residence visa or card.

Unfortunately, the Canadian embassy for Portugal is a little bit hard to find online (the link from the London Embassy doesn't work) - but based on what the London consulate has to say, it looks like a "residence visa" is limited to someone married to a Portuguese national.

They don't list a "retirement visa" - and under the section that lists the documents you must submit with your visa application, they specifically ask for evidence of your health insurance coverage. This is pretty standard within the EU.

Don't expect the situation to be just like in Canada. Besides, to get landed immigrant status, don't you have to be employed or employable if you're not part of a family reunification program? It may also be the case that you have to carry your own insurance for the first x years and only then can you be included in the national plan.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Of coarse the Algarve is the best, but I absolutely loved Nazare, my daughter lives about 1/2 hour from there in a town called Torres Novas. It took her a bit of time to get used to it, but she loves it there now. I am also going there for Christmas which I am very excited about. Hope this health insurance goes ok, that is one big stumbling block, but medical is cheap even if you have to pay, my daughter goes to private clinics alot, even though she has coverage in the public ones, she finds the private ones better and it is really reasonable. She just had a root canal done on her tooth and it was 30 Euros, in BC it is a few hundred. haha..

Hope to keep in touch. If you need any info that you are having trouble finding, I meight be able to ask her or my son in law, they might know the answers, and you are right, the people there are amazing, a much simplier lifestyle.

Cheers
Diane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Bev, this all sounds reasonable. You have given me some thoughts to explore. It sounds like Portugal is very similar to what you have described and I need to speak to someone in the Portuguese embassy over here, but this is a lot easier said than done. But you insights may shed some light on the question.

Thanks
Vince
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
I checked a health insurance website the other week, they wanted 91 euros a month for fully comprehensive cover. I am 44.
When you visit Torres Novas at Christmas, you must visit Obidos, they decorate it for the holidays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Silvers, thank you for your input. Unfortunately, when you get to my age, its a lot more than 91 Euros a month, more like 250-300 Euros per month (double that with my wife) and then at around 70 years of age, most companies are no longer willing to insure you! This is why I am trying to get a handle on the National healthcare system in Portugal and how it applies to a non-EU expats. If you have any insights for me I would really appreciate it as no-one seems to have much information about the Portuguese health system for non EU retiree immigrants.

I am not the one going to Torres Novas at Christmas. That is dianebrown on this thread. I am going to the Algarve at Christmas. However, I was in Obidos over Christmas 18 months ago and it was fabulous and I agree, it is a "must-see". Last year we were in the Leiria area in September, probably one of our favorite areas in Portugal, but we are leaning towards the Algarve only because of the weather in winter, which is one of the main reasons we are coming to Portugal in the first place.

Cheers
Vince
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I checked a health insurance website the other week, they wanted 91 euros a month for fully comprehensive cover. I am 44.
When you visit Torres Novas at Christmas, you must visit Obidos, they decorate it for the holidays.
I will definately keep that in mind. I was there 2 years ago at Christmas also and I loved it.
Thanks for the info on the health insurance.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I checked a health insurance website the other week, they wanted 91 euros a month for fully comprehensive cover. I am 44.
When you visit Torres Novas at Christmas, you must visit Obidos, they decorate it for the holidays.
Hi Silvers,
Can you provide me or us with the link to that company?
Thanks.
Joao Coelho (AKA ofilha)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Health Insurance Portugal

Silvers, thank you for your input. Unfortunately, when you get to my age, its a lot more than 91 Euros a month, more like 250-300 Euros per month (double that with my wife) and then at around 70 years of age, most companies are no longer willing to insure you! This is why I am trying to get a handle on the National healthcare system in Portugal and how it applies to a non-EU expats. If you have any insights for me I would really appreciate it as no-one seems to have much information about the Portuguese health system for non EU retiree immigrants.

I am not the one going to Torres Novas at Christmas. That is dianebrown on this thread. I am going to the Algarve at Christmas. However, I was in Obidos over Christmas 18 months ago and it was fabulous and I agree, it is a "must-see". Last year we were in the Leiria area in September, probably one of our favorite areas in Portugal, but we are leaning towards the Algarve only because of the weather in winter, which is one of the main reasons we are coming to Portugal in the first place.

Cheers
Vince
Hello

we are an Germany based Insurance broker. We offer several Plans for Non EU citizens with and without timely restrictions.
If you need a quote please contact me [email protected]
regards
Michael
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top