Medical Insurance

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paulineb
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:29 am

Medical Insurance

Postby paulineb » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:33 pm

Hi,
We have just moved to Crete and are unsure about medical insurance. We have taken early retirement and are not working. Do we have to get our own medical insurance.
Does anybody know what we need to do or is there anywhere we can go to find out?

Thanks
Pauline

filippos
Posts: 5601
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby filippos » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:54 pm

Until you are in receipt of your UK State Pension you won't be able to get treatment under the Greek State scheme (IKA as most people still refer to it). You might get some cover if you have EHIC cards but technically that is intended to provide for emergency cover for people on short stays although some people have managed to get rather more than the scheme intends. Accidents happen all the time and, if serious, the financial cost could be substantial. Similarly, illnesses can strike suddenly and unexpectedly.
You should also obtain Residence certificates and requirement for those include demonstrating that you will be self-sufficient and have adequate arrangements for health cover. That can be a bit hit-and-miss with 'enforcement' as some people I know have obtained the Residence document without having health cover. Others I know have taken out private health insurance, paid for a few months, then cancelled it. That sidesteps the system but leaves them vulnerable if suddenly faced with the need for treatment for any substantial medical needs.

BST
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby BST » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:22 pm

I've just applied for my permanent resident card at Vrysses Police Station and the EHIC card was accepted as proof of healthcare as it is for temporary resident cards. I had a major operation on my EHIC card a couple of years ago and I know a couple of people who have had heart operations on their cards. It appears that the hospitals are happy to accept the cards here. For Doctors, consultant visits, screening etc... we pay as its not expensive and we are pretty healthy! The EHIC is not specifically for emergency treatment!

Your entitlement according to the NHS:
"The EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment should you need it while visiting one of those countries.
They cover pre-existing medical conditions as well as emergency care if you have an accident or become ill on holiday. Individuals with chronic illnesses, for example those who require daily dialysis, can travel to the EU as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, knowing they would receive the necessary treatment on the same terms as the citizens of the country they are visiting."

In detail:
– Any medical treatment that you have to have because of an accident or an illness.
– Cover for a pre-existing medical condition that flares up and requires treatment during your stay.
– Treatment on the same terms as a citizen of the country of your visit. This may mean you have to contribute towards certain services such as dentistry and GP appointments.
- Routine ante-natal care, for instance if you go into labour prematurely. It is forbidden to enter a country with the sole intention of giving birth, however.
– Kidney dialysis and oxygen treatments are covered for patients requiring this care.

Of course, everything might change after Brexit but at the moment it is valid until December 2020 and maybe longer??? Of course the UK may monitor how long people are in the UK and withdraw reciprocal healthcare if you are out of the UK for more than 6months??? In which case, many people here could be in trouble!

Kilkis
Posts: 9661
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby Kilkis » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:37 pm

You are correct that it is not intended only for emergency care BUT it is only intended for people who are resident in the UK and are travelling abroad for short periods. It is not really valid for anybody who has moved permanently to Greece and is resident here. Apart for cover for State Pensioners under an S1 form, entitlement to ALL UK healthcare is based on being resident in the UK. Anybody other than State Pensioners who is not resident in the UK is not entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK. See UK government guidance and the linked pages.

    If you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you will no longer automatically be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules. This is because the NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. You'll have to notify your GP so that you and your family can be removed from the NHS register.

    Most people will no longer be entitled to use their UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare in Europe, however there are a few exceptions. Read our EHIC guide for more detailed information.

The exceptions to the EHIC rule are:

    1 you receive a UK State Pension or exportable UK benefit and have a UK-issued S1 form (certificate of entitlement) registered in your country of residence
    2 you are a worker posted to work in another EEA country or Switzerland by your UK employer, or a frontier worker living in the EEA and working in the UK
    3 you are a family member of a posted worker or of someone working in the UK and you are not covered in your own right by the EEA country you reside in

Obviously many people do not inform the UK authorities that they have moved abroad permanently and pretend for the purposes of healthcare that they are still resident in the UK.

Warwick

paulineb
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:29 am

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby paulineb » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:23 am

Hi,

Thanks for the replies, that's pretty much what we had concluded. We did manage to get residency permits using EHIC cards but they did say that we really need medical insurance.

Can anybody recommend a policy or a broker? We tried Generali and they said you needed to be Greek speaking to take out a policy (and we got the impression it was going to be expensive).

Pauline

Kilkis
Posts: 9661
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby Kilkis » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:43 am

Contact stavros dot tsichlis at gmail dot com or stephanoskatsifarakis at yahoo dot gr Stavros is an agent for Insurance Greece and posts helpful information on this forum. Stephanos is an agent for ERGO Insurance which is very big. Both very helpful people.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby BST » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:37 pm

As I have to pay income tax on my pension in the UK and we also have a house in the UK I am not going to pay for Health Insurance in Greece, especially as the hospital and police have been happy to accept the EHIC card so far. Of course, if the goal posts hadn't been moved for the state pension, I could have been accessing healthcare for free for a few years already like so many older expats! Obviously it's up to individuals what they chose to do.

Kilkis
Posts: 9661
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby Kilkis » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:26 pm

I would point out that in my earlier post I make no judgement about what people should or should not do. Everybody must make his/her own decisions. I simply tried to clarify what the rules are and how they may be circumvented.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby BST » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:41 pm

You do a good job! :wink:

Phild
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Way out West

Re: Medical Insurance

Postby Phild » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:32 am

paulineb wrote:Hi,

Can anybody recommend a policy or a broker?

Pauline


Try Elias Papaevgeniadis - a broker for a few companies including Eurolife, a Cypriot company now expanding into Greece which was giving good deals when we took out our policies. He speaks excellent English and his number is 6973471638.
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Phil
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