Discover Bulgaria

Work in Bulgaria – Health Insurance, Taxes, Salaries

September 1, 2023
  1. Health Insurance

If you are interested in moving to and working in Bulgaria, here are a few important things to know about the Health System in the country and Health Insurance:

The health system is highly centralized and based on a compulsory social health insurance scheme. All are managed by the National Health Insurance Fund – Zdravna kasa, under the Ministry of Health. The average health insurance contribution for 2023 is 8%, with the employee contributing 3.2%.

Once you start paying your Health Insurance, you can go and visit any clinic or hospital and be treated. However, many services are not covered by Zdravna kasa. For example, if anyone needs to be seen by a specialist in a particular field, they will have to pay for the visit. Prices vary, starting at 30 BGL. Prescribed medication in Bulgaria is not covered by National Health as well. There are small discounts for regular prescriptions, mostly covering the elderly population.

Today quite a few companies, hiring international staff, offer additional Health Insurance to their employees. A yearly health checkup can be provided free of charge, including blood and urine tests. It is worth checking on the conditions and the covered services. They may include Dental care up to 500-600 BGL /250-300 €/, contributions towards new glasses, partial coverage of hospitalization, etc. The additional Health cover will be available, if on offer, only after the trial period is over.

Bulgaria is not famous for its health system. There are still a number of very old hospitals and facilities. On the other hand, one can visit numerous brand-new medical facilities, private clinics, and hospitals, equipped with the latest medical technology. Just make sure you ask the receptionist about their prices before booking an appointment.

Many doctors communicate reasonably well in English. There are very good specialists if needed. The country actually attracts a sound amount of foreign medical students with good teaching standards and considerably low tuition rates.

2. Taxes and National Insurance Contributions 

Bulgaria opens the list of countries with the lowest Income tax in Europe. The flat 10% rate for Bulgarians and foreigners working in the country is one of the reasons many people show interest and move to this European destination.

The total amount of Social Security contributions is 32.70%-33.40% on gross remuneration, with the employee contributing 13.78% as follows:

  • Mandatory Pension fund: 6.58%
  • Mandatory Pension Insurance: 2.2%
  • General illness and maternity fund: 1.4%
  • Unemployment fund: 0.4%
  • Health Insurance fund: 3.2%

Social security contribution rates are capped on the basis of a salary of BGN 3,000. For example, if your gross salary is 4,200 BGN, your contributions and taxes will be paid on 3,000 BGN. 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

3. Salaries 

In Bulgaria, there are quite significant differences between salaries in different parts of the country. The highest salaries are usually paid in the capital Sofia. The average gross monthly salary in Sofia is around 2,500 BGL, resulting in a net salary (after tax and social contributions) of about 1,940 BGL. In the rest of the country, the average gross salary is around 1,880 BGL, but with important regional diversity. After Sofia, Varna is the next city with good salaries, followed by Burgas and Plovdiv. Of course, expenses out of the capital are lower. 

The highest-paying jobs are in the ICT information and communications technology sectors (average wage of 5,000 BGL), in the electricity, gas, and water production and distribution (average wage 2,400 BGL), and in finance (average salary 1,850 BGL). Agriculture and logging are the sectors that pay the least (average wage 700 BGL).

An important part of the recruitment process and the securing of the perfect job position in Bulgaria is salary negotiation. If you already have a very good offer, make sure to confirm the amount /gross and net salary/ so that there are no misunderstandings later on. Also, find out what else your future employer has to offer as extra benefits. The most common in-kind benefits are additional health insurance, restaurant tickets, fitness club memberships, transportation reimbursements, clothing costs, and discounts on the prices of company products. Some companies offer monthly food vouchers. You might get vouchers for different shops, restaurants or petrol vouchers.

Check the following link for more details on the salaries and the exact calculation in Bulgaria:

Examples can be found as well in the link below: