Greece is a popular destination for expats due to its beautiful weather, stunning scenery, and rich culture. 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 Greece, the state health insurance system, how to apply for it, and the advantages of international private medical insurance.
Is Health Insurance Mandatory in Greece?
In Greece, health insurance is mandatory for all residents, including expats. This means that expats living in Greece must have health insurance to ensure they have access to quality healthcare services.
State Health Insurance System in Greece
The state health insurance system in Greece is known as the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY). It is a public healthcare system that provides free or low-cost medical care to residents of Greece, including expats. The EOPYY system is funded through government taxes and contributions from employers and employees.
What does it cover?
The EOPYY 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 EOPYY system also provides disability and life insurance benefits.
How to Apply for State Health Insurance in Greece
Expats living and working in Greece must register for the EOPYY system. Here are the steps to follow:
Obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN): To register for the EOPYY system, expats must first obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Greek government. This can be done by visiting a local tax office and providing documentation such as a passport or national ID card.
Register for health insurance: After obtaining a TIN, expats can register for health insurance by completing an application form and providing documentation such as proof of residency and income.
Choose a health plan: The EOPYY system offers several health plans, and expats can choose the plan that best suits their needs.
Make contributions: After enrolling in the system and choosing a health plan, expats must make monthly contributions based on their income. Contributions are automatically deducted from the employee’s salary if they are employed.
Receive health insurance card: After enrolling in the system and making contributions, expats will receive a health insurance card, which they can use to access healthcare services.
Advantages of International Private Medical Insurance
While the EOPYY system provides comprehensive healthcare coverage, expats living in Greece 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 EOPYY system. This can include coverage for elective procedures, alternative therapies, and treatments not covered by the EOPYY 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 Greek.
Health insurance is mandatory for all residents of Greece, including expats. The state health insurance system, the EOPYY, provides comprehensive healthcare coverage for all residents of Greece. Expats must register for the EOPYY system by obtaining a Tax Identification Number, completing an application form, choosing a health plan, 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 Greece.