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

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If you are planning to visit Kernave, the Old Town of Vilnius, or even the Curonian Split in Lithuania, you definitely have to bring with you the European Health Insurance Card. And if you can still recall the Form E111 required of any traveler visiting some of the famous tourist destinations in Europe to allow them access to the healthcare services of the country they are visiting if they so require emergency or necessary medical treatment, the EHIC is the successor to the derelict and largely ineffective E111.

Lithuania has three heritage sites that have been dutifully classified by the UNESCO providing the country with enough modern-day attraction to draw close to a million visitors every year. Whether it is a visit to these heritage sites or even a stroll in the many national parks of the country, Lithuania has practically a lot of wonderful things in store for the modern-day tourist. Perhaps one of the most sought after benefit of traveling to Lithuania is its phenomenal array of spa towns and seaside resorts. And for the more spiritually inclined traveler, this is the perfect country to do some soul-searching as it boasts of 4 major pilgrimage sites that include the Gate of dawn in Vilnius, ZemaiciuKalvarija and the Hill of Crosses both in Samogitia, and Siluva.

Whether it is a journey of spiritual renewal or appreciation of Lithuanian culture and history, it is always best to visit the country with your European Health Insurance card in tow. This assures you of the healthcare services that are covered under Lithuania’s Territorial Health Insurance Fund. As long as the health care or medical treatment including dental procedures are covered by this state health fund, you can use your EHIC in the same way as a native Lithuanian will use their own card to avail of the same services. While some of these services are free, often depending on the nature of the treatment or service that you require, you will be paying a reduced rate of the cost if ever the service is not free of charge. You can then file for a reimbursement through your EHIC as well.

Getting ill in a foreign land like Lithuania can be a terrifying prospect. However, what you need to understand is to always look for healthcare providers that are covered or recognized by the Territorial Health Insurance Fund. If the provider or institution is not funded by the THIF, then you may be compelled to use your private health insurance which often is wrought with a lot of bureaucratic red tape which makes claims so complicated. So, if you need a doctor in Lithuania, you have to make sure he or she is covered by the THIF.

The same is true if you require hospitalization. It is highly recommended that you seek hospitals and clinics that are THIF-recognized and certified. This allows you to receive routine medical treatments at substantially reduced rates if not absolutely free of charge. Their emergency medical services are nonetheless, free, but only if you are able to present your EHIC. For non-emergent care, typically a general practitioner or even a specialist will refer you to the hospital for more holistic management of your health condition. Depending on the treatments that you receive, these can be free or at a reduced cost.

Dental treatments are also covered by the EHIC, provided that the dentist is funded by the THIF. If not, then you can expect the cost of dental treatments to be particularly hefty. Understand, however, that only dental services are generally free, not the materials that will be used in the treatment. For example, if you will be requiring dental amalgam, then you will have to pay for this as it is not typically covered by the THIF.

If you have to purchase prescription medications, make sure to get it from a pharmacy that is also recognized by the Territorial Health Insurance Fund. You will get the same discounts as any other Lithuanian buying their own medicines.

Now, understand that not all medical conditions may be covered by EHIC. It will all depend on how the Lithuanian doctor will assess the situation. If he deems it necessary to perform the treatment right away, then you can use your EHIC. If the condition can be treated upon your return to your home country, then there’s no need to seek treatment right away.

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