Survey: Lithuanians coming to their homeland know how to receive free health services


2021 05 17


Lithuanians living abroad are well acquainted with the health services provided in Lithuania, according to an annual survey of foreign Lithuanians. Most of the respondents know how they can get the necessary medical care with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or use the planned medical services when they come to Lithuania.

A whole 69 percent of Lithuanians living in the European Union (EU) countries stated that they knew that the EHIC gives the right to receive free emergency medical services in Lithuania, although they have not used this card so far. 21 percent admitted to having already tested the powers of the EHIC in their homeland. And only 10 percent of compatriots admitted that they did not know what services could be expected in Lithuania under the EHIC coverage.

EHIC is a document that confirms the right of a person with compulsory health insurance to receive emergency medical care paid for by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund when visiting the EU, European Economic Area countries, the Swiss Confederation or the United Kingdom.

Specialists of health insurance fund point out that the EHIC guarantees the payment of the costs of emergency medical assistance services when visiting Lithuania, when a person requires medical assistance due to an acute illness, accident or exacerbation of an existing illness. In the absence of an EHIC, but in urgent need of medical assistance, the costs will have to be borne by the patient. Upon return to the country where they work and pay taxes, individuals have the right to apply to their health insurance institution for reimbursement of these costs.

The survey shows that a similar situation exists with planned medical care. A whole 60 percent of compatriots living abroad stated that they knew that while being insured with social insurance in one of the EU countries, they have the right to apply for compensation for the costs of health care services received in Lithuania and paid for with their own funds. However, they have not yet exercised this right. At that time, 15 percent already used this opportunity, those who did not know about - made up 25% of compatriots.

Lithuanians insured with social insurance in the EU and European Economic Area countries have the opportunity to receive compensation for the planned health care services provided in Lithuania. In order to exercise this right, before going to Lithuania for treatment, you must inform your health insurance institution about such intentions and obtain its permission to receive treatment in Lithuania. This is especially relevant if it is planned to receive inpatient treatment services in Lithuania, say specialists.

Permission is not required for medical consultations. After obtaining the permission of the social insurance institution, the treatment can be negotiated with a specific Lithuanian medical institution. It is important to know that you will have to pay for such services yourself, and you will need to apply to the licensing authority for reimbursement when you return to the country where you work and pay taxes. All or part of the costs incurred will be reimbursed. EU law stipulates that the amount to be reimbursed is calculated on the basis of the basic price of the service in question in the country where the person is insured, but may not exceed the patient's costs.

The NHIF invites you:

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