South Africa

International Health Insurance in South Africa

Arrange your health insurance ahead of your move to South Africa. A country with a landscape as diverse as its population, not to mention the variety of wildlife it’s also home to.

There’re plenty of opportunities in the financial services, sales, and IT sectors, with lots of scope for expats to establish themselves professionally here. Recent years have seen hiring activity steadily increase, which means things can only continue to get better.

Getting private health insurance in South Africa with Cigna Healthcare removes the headache of arranging everything yourself. Complete your new life on the African continent with comprehensive medical coverage.

How does the healthcare system work in South Africa?

The healthcare system in South Africa has both public and private arms. Taxation and point of care payments from service users fund the public system. It’s subsidised up to 40% and patients take care of the rest of the payment through Uniform Patient Fee Schedule or UPFS. Subsidisation usually depends on your status and salary. It’s unlikely that you’ll be subsidised much as an expat.

If you pay full price – you’re private, partial payments constitute a public status. Expats can use the public system but can only be in the highest paying public category.

You can skip the queues of the public system for a similar price by opting for private third-party cover. Getting expat insurance in South Africa can help you to receive the best treatment from the top physicians.


Pros and cons of using South Africa's healthcare system


  • Some services are free (almost 3,500 clinics give free healthcare to pregnant mothers and children under six years of age.)
  • Relative payment structure – the fee for the non-subsidised amount is relative according to people’s means.
  • Big cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg have good quality hospitals.


  • Overcrowded.
  • Understaffed.
  • Long wait times.

What’s the difference between public and private care in South Africa?

Public Private
Partially subsidized. Fully funded by service users.
Costs according to personal circumstances. Personal circumstances not taken into consideration.
Lack of privacy. More privacy.


How can international health insurance help you in South Africa?

Getting private health insurance in South Africa can remove the headache of arranging it yourself. Also, as the private health sector is quite good, you’ll get to avoid all the pitfalls of the public system.

This is especially true if you’re living in rural areas, where medical facilities aren’t often as good as their big city counterparts. This means shorter wait times, better doctors, and better facilities.

Choosing your international health insurance

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Why choose Cigna Healthcare for health insurance in South Africa?

  • Access to regional professionals across the nation.
  • Flexible solutions to fit your personal needs.
  • Access to a whole range of services.
  • 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year support.

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Yes, Cigna Healthcare does offer group plans. This allows businesses to arrange quality healthcare for their employees. There’s a variety of different options available, which also include dental services. Check out group offerings with Cigna Healthcare.

Yes, there is an app – the Cigna Wellbeing® mobile app. This is a digital platform that allows us to interact with our customers. Best of all, there’s no off time. We’re here to help whenever you need it. Download it for yourself to make the most of our services.

Yes, Cigna Healthcare does offer dental care as an optional add-on as part of our CGHO and Close Care policies. Explore dental expat insurance coverage options in South Africa with Cigna Healthcare.