Accessing Healthcare in Estonia

Planning to travel to Estonia with the entire family can be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. One of the areas where you have to be concerned about is how you can get access to the healthcare system of Estonia. This is not to sound overly pessimistic but it is always better to be prepared. You’ll never know if you or anyone in your family will require medical attention while on a holiday visit. This is where the European Health Insurance Card, which replaced the E111, can be of tremendous help. It gives you the key to affordable, equitable, and high quality public healthcare in Estonia as well as the 30 other countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

The European Health Insurance Card, formerly the E111, will cover for any treatment that is deemed necessary. These treatments are classified as necessary if they can no longer wait for you to return back home to receive the treatment. It also includes any chronic condition that you may be diagnosed with. Also covered are routine maternity health care services. However, EHIC will not cover you if your main reason for going to Estonia is to give birth to your child or to seek treatment for your chronic condition. EHIC will also not cover any treatments or procedures obtained from a private practitioner. What is important is for you to first check the healthcare facility, doctor, hospital, dentist, or even pharmacist if they are contracted by the state health insurance fund of Estonia to avail of free or reduced-cost treatments and medications.

If you are in an emergency and you need medical assistance right away, you have to dial 112 from your mobile phone and ask for ambulance services. In Estonia, ambulance services are provided to you absolutely free. Most Estonians can speak English but, in case the operator cannot speak English, then you may have to ask a local to communicate your needs for you. You can also bring a phrasebook with you. If it is emergency dental care is what you need such as emergency tooth extraction or even mitigation of an abscess, this is provided to you free but only if you present your EHIC.

If you need to visit an Estonian doctor, you may do so free of charge. Just make sure he or she is duly contracted by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. If you require specialist services, you may need a referral letter from a GP. Take note however, that if you need to consult with a surgeon, an HIV/AIDS specialist, gynecologist, a pulmonologist, a dermatovenerologist, a dentist, or even a psychiatrist, then you don’t necessarily need a referral letter. Understand that while consultation with a GP is absolutely free, you may have to pay for any medical treatment that is provided to you. If a GP performs a home visit or a house call, you will also be paying a certain amount for this. Typically it is around 5 Euros but it actually depends on the doctor. Know that this is non-refundable.

If you will be hospitalized, you will be paying 2.50 Euros for each day of your hospitalization. This rate is only effective for up to 10 hospital days. The cost of hospitalization is also non-refundable. However, if you have kids who are below 18 years old, they will not be paying this inpatient fee. If you are receiving care that is related to your pregnancy or even childbirth, you are also exempted from paying the 2.50 Euros daily hospitalization rate. Patients who are admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit are also exempted.

The European Health Insurance Card is your guarantee to a hassle-free travel in Estonia. However, since there are instances wherein you cannot use it such as seeking treatments from a private health provider or even seeking repatriation services and lost baggage, you need to complement your EHIC with a travel insurance or even a personal health policy. The EHIC is nonetheless a very useful travel companion.

Obtaining your EHIC is now made even simpler. With the growth of online services, you can now have your EHIC processed in half the time it would usually take. MyEHIC provides such services as well as other value-added features. They can help you apply for the EHIC of every individual in your family from your spouse down to your children. MyEHIC can also help renew your EHIC so you get to continuously enjoy its benefits. Don’t travel to the EEA and Switzerland without your EHIC. It’s your lifeline.

Find out how to renew your European Health Insurance Card here with MyEHIC.