Discover our health insurance policies specifically designed for expats in Georgia
Foyer Global Health covers expats’ health in Georgia who are seeking for a private health insurance solution tailored to their needs.
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Nestled in the heart of the Caucasus, between Europe and Asia, beautiful Georgia has many assets: sublime mountain scenery, a magnificent cultural heritage and delicious wine. Here, entrepreneurs, international organization personneland, more recently, digital nomads discover the meaning of Georgian hospitality. They settle most often in the capital Tbilisi, where the cost of living is among the cheapest in the world!
In terms of healthcare, the former Soviet republic has undertaken a series of wide-ranging reforms to improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare provision for Georgians. Although progress has been made, particularly regarding medical infrastructure, the Georgian healthcare system still suffers from gaps in coverage and territorial disparities. To ensure comprehensive health coverage, expatriates should subscribe to an international private health insurance plan such as those offered by Foyer Global Health.
Universal Health Coverage Program and privatisation of Georgian healthcare
Over the past decade, Georgia has made progress in improving its healthcare system. After 1995, the government started introducing extensive reforms to privatize and decentralise the Soviet Semashko system of healthcare. In February 2013, Georgia launched its Universal Health Coverage Programme (UHCP). This governmental healthcare scheme aims, among other things, to ensure universal access to quality health services,improve primary healthcare and reduce direct costs to patients.
The Georgian healthcare system is universal, state-funded and relies heavily on private medical facilities. In fact, 90% of Georgian hospitals are privately owned: 40% are owned by insurance companies, 30% by individuals and 20% by other enterprises.
What healthcare costs are covered by Georgian public health insurance?
The UHCP partially covers primary and secondary care as well as some essential medicines. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children under five, and people with disabilities are covered at 100% by the UHCP, but only for a limited number of medical services. In fact, the UHCP only fully covers expenses related to emergency care and visits to a general practitioner. For the rest of Georgian citizens, the amount of state coverage is capped and patients’ out of pocket costs remain high, a major obstacle to access to healthcare. To benefit from this programme, one is required to choose a particular health facility and register there.
The UHCP offers partial health coverage for up to 90% of Georgians;; the remaining 10% opt for private health insurance. For expatriates, health services are neither free nor subsidised.
Local Private Health Insurance
The local market for private health insurance is quite diverse and includes companies such as Irao, Ardi, and TBC Insurance. Some companies offer exclusive and specific private health insurance plans; while others provide their customers with a range of insurance products including health coverage. The price and range of these schemes vary from one insurance company to another. In fact, private hospitals often provide health insurance services to their own patients (vertical integration of insurance company/healthcare facility).
What are the limitations and disparities of Georgia’s healthcare system?
Despite recent progress, Georgian healthcare system still faces major challenges, including:
- Long waiting times for medical services,
- The quality of healthcare is inconsistent and mainly depends on the medical facility, the health practitioner and the geographical area’
- Insufficient guarantees for quality of care and patients’ rights,
- High rates of maternal mortality and noncommunicable diseases,
- Strong regional disparities: in major cities such as Tbilisi or Batumi, there are a number of modern (and international) private hospitals that provide quality basic and emergency medical care, but this is not the case in remote areas.
In cases of serious illness or a health emergency, it is strongly recommended to seek repatriation.
How much do medical services cost in Georgia?
While the cost of living is very affordable in Georgia, the same is not true for some private health facilities. In fact, healthcare costs can vary greatly from one health facility to another and from one service to another, depending on the patient’s origin (foreigner/Georgian citizen) and type of insurance. Those who are not insured and registered with the health facility can pay up to double the price charged to those covered by registration and insurance.
The standard price for a consultation with a general practitioner is up to GEL 50 (€14) and for a consultation with a specialist it can rise to GEL 120 (€33).
Pharmacies and medicines in Georgia
In Georgia, there are many well-stocked pharmacies; some are even open 24/7.
Georgian legislation is very strict regarding importing pharmaceutical products. Travel with certain types of medicines should be undertaken with caution. For example, substances such as the benzodiazepines contained in Lexomil or Valium, or opiates contained in certain painkillers such as codeine or tramadol, are prohibited.
Why is international health insurance the best option for expats in Georgia?
As expats have limited access to local health insurance schemes, to ensure safety and peace of mind, international health insurance is highly recommended.
International health insurance offers comprehensive and flexible coverage. It offers expats the freedom to choose the medical care best suited to their needs, protects them in case of emergency hospitalisation or repatriation, and avoids high out of pocket medical costs.
Why choose Foyer Global Health coverage in Georgia?
If you are planning to live in Georgia for several months or even years, you will need a trustworthy healthcare ally who understands your expatriate needs. Foyer Global Health is specialized in providing health insurance solutions designed for expatriates in Georgia and elsewhere in the world.
What can you expect from us?
- Health coverage in Georgia, your home country, and worldwide,
- Several insurance plans tailored to your needs and your profile,
- Worldwide unlimited access to the medical services of your choice, either public or private, for primary and emergency care,
- Holistic and efficient health insurance at a competitive price: you will not have to pay in advance for medical treatment in case of hospitalization. We cover a wide range of medical care; you will have quick access to the medical care you need; our health insurance works from the first euro,
- In case of emergency, medical repatriation and transport are included,
- 24/7 multilingual assistance and a 100% digital health experience,
- The guarantee of a safe and worry-free expatriate experience, alone or with your family.