Health Insurance Funds reveal where Lithuanians go for health services

It is not the first year that Lithuanians have been able to travel more freely to other countries for medical treatment. As in previous years, residents insured with compulsory health insurance in Lithuania mostly chose neighbouring countries for cross-border healthcare, while the nature of medical services provided remained similar.

“Last year, 118 Lithuanian citizens were reimbursed by the Health Insurance Funds for healthcare services, medicines or medical aids purchased in other countries of the European Economic Area. This required EUR 184 000 from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. This is EUR 43 000 more than the previous year,” says Inga Ježerkauskaitė, Adviser of the International Affairs Division of the National Health Insurance Fund under the Ministry of Health.

Last year, the most frequent destinations for Lithuanian citizens were neighbouring countries - Latvia (48 applications) and Poland (47 applications). There were also 20 applications for reimbursement of cross-border healthcare in Germany. Treatment in Slovakia, Belgium, Estonia and other countries was much less frequent last year. 

According to the specialist of the NHIF, last year the most frequently reimbursed medical rehabilitation services (43 cases) were in Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Belgium, Spain and Malta. Even 36 cases were reimbursed for inpatient personal healthcare services provided in Latvia, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Belgium and Croatia. Patients were also consulted by medical specialists (28 cases), outpatient personal healthcare services provided in Latvian, Polish and German medical institutions were reimbursed. Medicines were purchased in 22 cases. Reimbursement was also requested for orthopaedic equipment or medical aids.

The largest reimbursement from the CHIF last year was more than EUR 11 000 for a surgery carried out in a Latvian hospital, while the smallest - EUR 49 - was for medicines bought in Poland.

“It is estimated that in the last five years, Health Insurance Funds have received a total of 627 applications for reimbursement of cross-border healthcare costs. More than EUR 652 000 was spent from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund to reimburse them,” says I. Ježerkauskaitė.

Health Insurance Funds would like to remind that insured persons of Lithuania in the European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, who have received and paid for healthcare services, can apply to Health Insurance Funds for reimbursement of the costs incurred within 1 year at the latest. Patients can choose their own healthcare provider in the other country, regardless of whether it is a private or a public institution.

The costs are reimbursed to the patient to the extent that the relevant medical services are paid for by the CHIF to Lithuanian health care institutions. 

(Freepic photo)

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