If you've searched the internet for health insurance that covers expats in Belarus then you are probably for looking for established UK based health insurance providers that will cover your medical expenses in Belarus.
Living as an expatriate in Belarus you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for very serious conditions.
Our advice when shopping around for health insurance that covers expatriates living in Belarus is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is incredibly complicated and if you want complete certainty that Belarus is covered by your policy you should consult with a health insurance broker who can explain which providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in Belarus and which will not.
There are many advantages to using a insurance broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than by you so it costs you no extra to use their services.
- Do you live in many different areas? Some will give you a lower policy premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this vital information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different insurance policies?
- You've developed a certain medical condition and want to know which policy provider offers the biggest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
You can call around every health insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Belarus, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its much quicker to speak to one health insurance broker which will know which policy providers on the market offer cover for expats in Belarus and under what terms they do or don't cover it.
The economy of Belarus is an upper-middle income mixed economy. As a post-soviet transition economy, Belarus resisted private enterprise reforms, in favour of retaining authoritarian control politically as well as economically. The Belarusian economy is highly centralised and emphasises full employment and a dominant state sector. It can be described as a welfare state. Belarus is the world's 72nd-largest economy by GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), which in 2019 stood at $195 billion, or $20,900 per capita.
As of 2018[update], Belarus ranks 53rd from 189 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index, and appeared in the group of states with "very high development". With an efficient health system, it has a very low infant-mortality rate of 2.9 (compared to 6.6 in Russia or 3.7 in the United Kingdom). The rate of doctors per capita is 40.7 per 10,000 inhabitants (the figure is 26.7 in Romania, 32 in Finland, 41.9 in Sweden) and the literacy rate is estimated[by whom?] at 99%. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the Gini coefficient (inequality indicator) is one of the lowest in Europe.
Before the October Revolution Belarus was a relatively backward and underdeveloped country, heavily reliant on agriculture and with rural overpopulation. Belarus was absolutely devastated by the Second World War, it suffered the loss of about a quarter of its population and immense destruction of infrastructure. In the post-war years Belarus industrialised and became an important trade hub between the Soviet Union and Europe. Manufacturing became a pillar of its economy emphasising tractors, heavy trucks, oil processing, metal-cutting lathes, synthetic fibres, TV sets, semi-conductors and microchips. In the 1980s more than half of the industrial personnel of Belarus worked for enterprises with over 500 employees. Among the Soviet republics it had an unusually high export rate of its products, about 80%, and was the most technologically advanced. Because of its role as a producer of products made from raw materials imported from the Soviet Union Belarus was called "the Soviet assembly shop."
Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, under Lukashenko's leadership, Belarus has maintained government control over key industries and eschewed the large-scale privatizations seen in other former Soviet republics.
The period between 1996 and 2000 was also characterised by significant financial distress, in particular in 1998 and 1999 as a result of the financial and economic crisis in Russia. This resulted primarily in a sharp increase in prices and the devaluation of the national currency, a decline in trade with Russia and other CIS countries, growth in inter-enterprise arrears, and overall deterioration of the country's balance of payments. Extreme tension within the foreign exchange market was the key factor that destabilized the economy in 1998 and 1999. In 1999, consumer prices grew by 294%.
Between 2001 and 2005, the national economy demonstrated steady and dynamic growth. The GDP grew at an average rate of 7.4 percent, peaking in 2005 at 9.2 percent. This growth was mainly a result of the performance of the industrial sector, which grew on average more than 8.7 percent per year, with a high of 10.4 percent in 2005. Potatoes, flax, hemp, sugarbeets, rye, oats, and wheat are the chief agricultural products. Dairy and beef cattle, pigs, and chickens are raised. Belarus has only small reserves of petroleum and natural gas and imports most of its oil and gas from Russia. The main branches of industry produce tractors and trucks, earth movers for use in construction and mining, metal-cutting machine tools, agricultural equipment, motorcycles, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, and consumer goods. The chief trading partners are Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Germany.
Analysis of foreign direct investment to Belarus between 2002 and 2007 shows that nearly 80% of FDI was geared into the service sector, while industrial concerns accounted for 20%. Agricultural FDI was off-the-charts paltry.
Shortly before the 2010 presidential election average salaries in Belarus were increased by the government to $500 per month. It is believed to be one of the main reasons for the crisis in 2011. Other reasons for the crisis were strong governmental control in the economy, a discount rate lower than inflation and the budget deficit.
In January 2011 Belarusians started to convert their savings from belarusian rubles to dollars and euros. The situation was influenced by rumors of possible devaluation of the ruble. Exchange rates in Belarus are centralized by the government-controlled National Bank of Belarus. The National Bank was forced to spend $1 billion of the foreign reserves to balance the supply and demand of currency On March 22 it stopped the support to banks. The National Bank also didn't change the exchange rate significantly (3,000 BYR per dollar on January 1 and 3,045 BYR on April 1), so the increased demand of dollars and euro exhausted cash reserves of banks. In April and May 2011 many people had to wait for several days in queues to buy dollars in the exchange booths. In April Belarusian banks were given informal permission of government to increase the exchange rate to 4,000 BYR for 1 dollar (later 4,500 BYR), but few people started to sell dollars and euro. On May 24 the ruble was officially devaluated by 36% (from 3,155 to 4,931 BYR per 1 dollar). But the shortage of the currency retained. As a result of the shortage, a black market of currency was created. In July 2011 the black market exchange rate was nearly 6,350 BYR per 1 dollar, in August it reached 9,000 BYR per 1 dollar.