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National health insurance fund: 8 tips for your trip to Europe

Date

2022 06 14

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You never know if your trip gets disrupted by an acute illness or a trauma. Yet travellers covered by a compulsory health insurance may be sure that they will receive emergency medical aid abroad as fast as possible and it will be fully or partially covered by the state funds. The only homework you have to do before the trip is to acquire a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and find out where it works and how.

Experts of Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund noticed that with the pandemic finally defeated, the holiday season is gaining full speed. The number of EHIC cards, issued by the institution, has reached the pre-pandemic number of 8 thousand, indicating that people are actively planning their trips. NHIC is kindly reminding of the steps to be taken by travellers before they leave in order to evade certain problems, related to health and money.

Before starting your trip to Europe:

1.    Check if your compulsory health insurance is in order. All Territorial Health Insurance Fund divisions issue EHIC cards for free, but only for those, who are covered by compulsory health insurance. You can check the status of your insurance by logging on to your account at https://ligoniukasa.lrv.lt/lt/paslaugos/e-paslaugos.

2.    Make sure that EHIC is valid in the country you're planning to visit. The National Health Insurance Fund covers emergency medical aid, offered by the card holders in the European Union, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The service is not available in other countries (e.g. Macedonia, Montenegro or Serbia), thus you have to cover the medical costs there yourself.

3.    If you’re planning a trip to a country, which accepts EHIC, order the card in advance if you don’t already have one or the one you have is expired. Territorial Health Insurance Fund divisions can print the card and give it to you in just a few minutes, but don't wait for the last minute before your trip, because the demand for EHIC is currently high with many people coming to pick them up. If you have more time, you can order your EHIC online and receive by registered mail anywhere in Lithuania – you won't even have to go to the THIF office.

4.   Make sure that your minor children have an EHIC too. Children under 16 years old can get an EHIC, ordered by one of their parents (foster parents), carers or a representative of a social care institution, providing supporting documents or their official copies with their personal identification document. Children above 16 years old can order the card themselves.

5.    Check the conditions of the medical services, offered in your target country, as they will be provided according to the procedure and price lists, established by local legislation. For example, in France, Belgium and Switzerland, people need to pay first and then contact the National Health Insurance Fund to have the treatment costs remunerated. In such cases, it is important to save the original payment documents and copies of medical extracts. You will submit them to a NHIF territorial division with an application to reimburse the emergency medical aid, provided abroad.

6.   Find out, which treatment institutions in the location you'll be visiting belong to the national health care system, because only these will provide EHIC card holders with the emergency medical aid completely or partially free of charge. Just like in Lithuania, these may include both public and private treatment institutions.

7.    Consider, if you need an additional health insurance. EHIC holders are provided with free emergency medical aid, i.e. upon acute illness, injury, trauma, etc., so that your health condition does not shorten your holiday. Things that are not covered include the additional payments by the patient, transportation costs (repatriation), or additional costs, chosen by the patient. You will have to cover these by yourself.

8.   As you plan your trip, do not forget to take your EHIC with your personal identification documents and submit it in case of a need at the medical institution of the country you’re visiting. If you do forget your card, however, you may form a certificate, which works as a temporary EHIC replacement, online and download it straight to your mobile phone or another device.

The National Health Insurance Fund is also kindly reminding that EHIC holders must be sure that their compulsory health insurance is valid throughout the trip, because the card cannot be used if the insurance is expired. Uninsured travellers using EHIC must remunerate the damage, incurred by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, even if they do receive medical services free of charge. The National Health Insurance Fund always checks the costs of the emergency medical aid before reimbursing them.

Information of Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund

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The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email [email protected] or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 222