There are many factors that make Andorra one of the best countries in the world to live: a unique location, constant contact with nature, a multicultural society and an attractive tax system. Yet, the Andorran health system is a cornerstone of the country’s structure, given its high quality.
Andorra has one of the best health systems in the world, as reflected in the reports of The Lancet magazine, a British medical publication. So, how does the health system work in Andorra? We will explain.
Life expectancy in Andorra and its location
The high standard of the Andorran health system, combined with other inherent factors in the country, means that life expectancy in Andorra is currently higher than the European average, at 83.4 years. Life expectancy for women is 86 years, and 80.7 for men.
The figures for life expectancy in the Principality are similar to those of neighbouring countries (Spain and France), which also have some of the best health systems in the world.
Due to its geographical location, Andorra has social security agreements with other states, especially Spain, France and Portugal. These agreements, being reciprocal, mean that you can receive care from the social security bodies of the other countries, which will be charged to the home country.
Accordingly, an Andorran resident who visits Spain, France or Portugal can receive care which will be paid by the Andorran social security system (CASS) when the established requirements are fulfilled.
How does the health system operate in Andorra? CASS
Article 30 of the Andorran Constitution recognises the right to health protection and to receive services to cover other personal needs. Therefore, the State must guarantee a social security system. Residents of Andorra have access to the Andorran health system through affiliation to the CASS, the public body in charge of administrative, financial and technical management of the health system.
Andorra has a public health system based on co-payment, dividing the costs of the system between the state and residents of the country, who can take out supplementary insurance. This system is based on the principles of joint responsibility, solidarity and free choice of doctor, enabling each resident to enjoy and use the facilities offered, according to their needs.
The CASS co-payment system operates by repaying part of the treatment costs which, in some cases, must be paid first by the resident. The repayment period for such treatments is usually short and the procedure is practically automatic at present.
|CASS Return Rate
|Outpatient and health centre visits, consultations or visits to specialists
|Expenses incurred through accidents at work, occupational illness or childbirth
|Expenses for services not affiliated to the Andorran social security
Nevertheless, based on the solidarity principle, CASS finances 100% of the costs of treatment when the individual can show that they are unable to pay the debt, such as people lacking resources or in a state of social exclusion.
Moreover, there are various agencies in Andorra that offer private health insurance to customers, enhancing the services offered by the Andorran social security.
Equally, there are insurances designed to cover the individual’s percentage of health care costs, which provide further reassurance by avoiding unexpected costs. Finding the private insurance that best suits your needs can be a very favourable option.
Choose your doctor
The final principle on which the Andorran health system is based is freedom of choice, under which Andorran residents can choose the doctor they prefer to treat them. So, although the national social security system covers most of the medical services, it is the patient who chooses where and from whom to receive treatment, from a combination of public and private professionals.
In recent years, a system of registering with a doctor has been introduced to optimise medical care in Andorra. Therefore, residents must choose a doctor, with whom they will have a regular doctor-patient relationship and who will carry out the initial diagnosis before referring them to a specialist, if necessary.
Medical facilities in Andorra
Andorra has its own hospital, located in Escaldes-Engordany, with all the technical innovations required to care for any need. Added to this, the country has 11 first-aid centres located in the different parishes, which offer care services to residents.
Moreover, Andorra is one of the countries with most pharmacies per inhabitant – 50 throughout the country.
Health care for tourists
Andorra receives a large number of tourists each year, who may require access to medical services in an emergency. So, if you are going to visit Andorra, it is a good idea to find out how far the Andorran health system covers non-residents.
Firstly, remember that Andorra does not belong to the European Union, so the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in this country, so it is a good idea to have private medical insurance to cover any eventuality in this country. Otherwise, visitors who are not covered by the Andorran social security will be liable for any medical expenses.