Health Insurance System in Russia
There are two separate medical insurance systems in Russia: Obligatory Medical Insurance and Voluntary Medical Insurance.
Obligatory Medical Insurance (OMI) is supported by a state program and serves as a prerequisite to obtaining government medical care free of charge. Obligatory Medical Insurance is valid on the whole territory of Russian Federation. Because the universal OMI plans have been implemented relatively recently, there is still a lot of confusion around who is eligible for OMI and how to obtain OMI.
Even though those who are insured under OMI may choose the medical specialist and a facility, in actuality there are significant limitations imposed on services under OMI.
Because OMI covers only the most basic of treatments at government hospitals, in more complex cases one would have to pay for the treatment directly. Similarly Obligatory Medical Insurance will not provide coverage in international hospitals and clinics.
Voluntary medical insurance or purchased medical insurance is separately acquired by the individual or his employer. Purchased medical insurance tends to offer coverage that is far more comprehensive compared to OMI.
Depending on the insurance company and the plan purchased the insurance may cover in-, as well as out-patient services, emergency evacuation and a various other medical services and procedures. To find out more about the varieties of purchased medical insurance please select the topic of your interest from our content table or contact Russia Health Insurance directly for more information on various health insurance related regulations and options.
Obligatory Medical Insurance
Obligatory Medical Insurance scheme was set out to ensure constitutional right to free medical care for all Russian nationals, temporary and permanent residents.
The services offered under Obligatory Medical Insurance plan are limited, mainly covering emergency medical attention. For a more comprehensive care one would have to pay separately for each provided medical service or procedure.
Doctors at public polyclinics and hospitals do not generally speak English well. Do count in the language barrier, if your command of Russian is not sufficient either bring a native Russian speaking with you or consider seeking help at an international hospital or clinic.
Obtaining Obligatory Medical Insurance
If you are moving to Russia for work, your employer or client is responsible for applying for an obligatory medical insurance on your behalf. You may also do it yourself through any local insurance provider. You would need to bring your passport together with the residence permit to your local insurance provider. The process is fairly quick and straight forward.
In order to select the appropriate insurance company you would first have to choose the polyclinic where you would want to be observed. They will provide the name and the address of the local insurance company that is able to provide Obligatory Medical Insurance for that specific polyclinic. Keep in mind that English is not widely spoken in Russia thus we advise to take a native Russian speaker with you in order to make the process easier.
The Obligatory Medical Insurance policy is valid on the whole territory of Russia, enabling you to receive medical care anywhere in the country. Unless you are using an international clinic the medical record will be kept in Russian only.
Children of foreign nationals in order to attend school or pre-school in Russia must be attached to the Obligatory Medical Insurance plan of the parent. In order to obtain attachment to obligatory medical insurance the parent must bring the relevant documents (passports, residence permit and child's birth certificate) to the Ministry of Health. The procedure takes around 10 days to 2 weeks.
If you have been declined a medical service under the obligatory medical insurance plan or if you have been charged for service that ought to be free under the policy, you may address your complaint to the same insurance provider you have received the policy from and they will direct you to the relevant department.
Voluntary Medical Insurance
According to new government regulations foreign nationals coming to Russia for work are obliged to obtain voluntary medical insurance prior to their arrival into Russia. It is customary that the employer provides basic purchased voluntary health insurance plan. According to statistics close to 90% of all purchased medical insurance for expatriates or foreign nationals are provided by their respective employers. As the company insurance plans tend to be acquired at a significant discount these plans typically cover only basic medical services. In order to insure adequate protection for you and your family familiarize yourself with the coverage of your insurance plan and expand it up to the extent you may require.
While standard cost at the local public hospitals are relatively cheap you may be quoted a different price just on the basis of your foreign passport. It often depend on the mood of the person that you are speaking to and does not necessarily reflect the standardized rules or regulations.
Public polyclinics and hospitals are notoriously famous for the length of the ques as well as inadequate and at times rude and dismissive attention to patients.
It is highly advised to obtain a voluntary health insurance for the length of your stay in Russia as it will allow you to use international medical clinics with significantly higher levels of service and attention. Without a purchased health insurance plan the services at such clinics can be extremely costly. A routine visit to a doctor will cost you US$150 should you choose to pay as you go.