Applying For The European
Health Insurance Card (EHIC) In Estonia

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Recognized as the world’s best in internet freedom in 2012 and liberty in 2006, Estonia is one truly remarkable country of the Baltic that is worth visiting. It has highly innovative e-Services, a near non-existent public debt, a well-balanced national budget, very competitive and innovative commercial banking industry, and superb mobile internet services. It’s also home to one of the internet world’s leaders in information and communications technology platforms, Skype. And with a rich cultural heritage dating back to 6,500 BC up to the Vikings that lorded the area and the eventual reclaiming of its independence from the former Soviet Union leading to the establishment of its sovereignty, there simply is a lot that can be learned from Estonia. Be it immersing oneself in some of the unique archeological sites that provide evidence of its ancient history or going on a walking trip in the lush forests that blanket more than half of the country’s land area, there’s plenty of things to do in Estonia.

But what if you had a medical emergency? Should you cut your holiday trip and return home for your treatment? Or should you just pay for the healthcare services that you are going to receive in Estonia?

With the European Health Insurance Card, you no longer have to worry about any medical emergency or any routine medical or maternity care for that matter. As long as you renew your EHIC and you are able to present this to any healthcare facility or provider in Estonia that is duly covered or funded by its national health insurance system, then you don’t have to worry. Even medical emergencies are covered by the European Health Insurance system. In fact, you can enjoy these benefits not only in Estonia. You can also enjoy the same benefits in Switzerland, France, and Germany or any other country that is an active member of the European Economic Area.

The quality of healthcare in Estonia may not be the best in the world but it surely can hold its own set of high standards. In fact its doctor to citizen ratio is 1:300 which is far better than the one they have in the United Kingdom. And since Estonia is well known for its excellent information and communications technologies, you can be sure that the healthcare services they provide are nothing less than truly spectacular and state-of-the-art. Majority of the excellent hospitals in Estonia are in the capital city of Talinn although it is not unusual to see one in the countryside near major urban centers.

Because Estonia is a member of both the European Union and the EEA, it recognizes legitimate holders of EHIC. This gives you access to high quality Estonian healthcare services at a reduced price. You may have to pay for the cost of healthcare especially doctors’ fees. Nevertheless you can reimburse these expenses later on. Only EHIC holders below 19 years of age are eligible for free medical and health care treatments.

For dental procedures, there are those that are provided at a reduced price while there are also those that are absolutely free. It is always best to ask your Estonian dentist about any cost implications of a dental treatment and whether this is fully or partially covered by the EHIC.

If you have to buy your medications, the same scheme is observed. You are entitled to reductions in the prices of medications as long as it is in the Estonian list of approved medications. If your medication is not on this list, you will have to purchase them at their full retail price. It is for this reason that you have to carefully plan your Estonian holiday and bring with you just enough number of medications to help you get through the holidays. Just make sure that you also bring with you your doctor’s certification about your medication use.

You are also able to avail of hospitalization benefits in Estonia. However, it is not free. They will, however, charge you a certain amount which is still relatively cheaper than most. You are allowed a maximum length of hospital stay of 10 days from the day you were admitted.

If you require maternity services, intensive care services, or even ambulance services, these are given to you free of charge.

Nine out of 20 Estonians speak English. However, it is always best to bring with you a phrasebook so you can communicate your medical needs a lot better.

Don’t go to Estonia without your EHIC. It’s your guarantee of a much safer, healthier, holiday travel.