Estonia is a small country located in Northern Europe that offers a high quality of life and excellent healthcare services. While the country has a state-funded healthcare system, it is important for expats to be aware of their health insurance options. In this article, we will explore the health insurance requirements in Estonia, the state health insurance system, how to apply for it, and the advantages of international private medical insurance.
Health Insurance Requirements in Estonia
In Estonia, health insurance is mandatory for all residents. This means that expats living in Estonia must have health insurance to ensure they have access to quality healthcare services.
State Health Insurance System in Estonia
The state health insurance system in Estonia is known as the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). It is a public insurance program that covers all residents of Estonia, including expats. The EHIF system is funded through payroll deductions from employees and employers, as well as contributions from self-employed workers.
What does it cover?
The EHIF system provides comprehensive health coverage, including medical consultations, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and preventive care. The system also covers maternity care, dental care, and rehabilitation services. In addition to healthcare coverage, the EHIF system also provides disability and life insurance benefits.
How to Apply for State Health Insurance in Estonia
Expats living and working in Estonia must register for the EHIF system. Here are the steps to follow:
Apply for a Personal Identification Code (PIC): To register for the EHIF system, expats must first obtain a Personal Identification Code (PIC) from the Estonian government. The PIC is a unique identifier assigned to each resident of Estonia.
Register for the EHIF system: Once expats have obtained their PIC, they can register for the EHIF system by completing an application form and providing documentation such as a passport or national ID card.
Make contributions: After registering for the EHIF system, expats must make monthly contributions based on their income. Contributions are automatically deducted from the employee’s salary if they are employed.
Receive EHIF card: After enrolling in the system and making contributions, expats will receive an EHIF card, which they can use to access healthcare services.
Advantages of Private Insurance
While the EHIF system provides comprehensive healthcare coverage, expats living in Estonia may also consider purchasing international private medical insurance. Here are some advantages of international private medical insurance:
More comprehensive coverage
International private medical insurance can offer more comprehensive coverage than the EHIF system. This can include coverage for elective procedures, alternative therapies, and treatments not covered by the EHIF system.
Access to private healthcare facilities
International private medical insurance can provide access to private healthcare facilities, which may offer shorter wait times and more personalized care.
International private medical insurance is portable, which means that it can be used in other countries. This can be an advantage for expats who travel frequently or plan to relocate to another country in the future.
Many international private medical insurance providers offer English-speaking assistance, which can be helpful for expats who are not fluent in Estonian.
Health insurance is mandatory for all residents of Estonia, including expats. The state health insurance system, the EHIF, provides comprehensive healthcare coverage for all residents of Estonia. Expats must register for the EHIF system by obtaining a Personal Identification Code, completing an application form, and making monthly contributions. Additionally, expats may consider purchasing international private medical insurance for more comprehensive coverage, access to private healthcare facilities, portability, and English-speaking assistance. By understanding their health insurance options, expats can make informed decisions about their healthcare needs while living in Estonia.