Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

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tomcourtney
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Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby tomcourtney » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:33 pm

Is there an ‘idiots’ guide to IKA? We will be arriving later this year. I should have an Irish passport, but it is not guaranteed. So we are currently investigating all aspects of health insurance ( on a limited budget) as my pension isn’t due till November 21, and my wife’s till Dec 23.
Greatly appreciate any guidance.

Yin&Yang
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Yin&Yang » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:52 pm

The brief answer is that IKA is similar to the NHS and reciprocal healthcare can be available for EU members. It is worth taking a look at the ‘Go to main site Living in Crete’ link above on the left and then following the links regarding healthcare.
Someday is now : )

tomcourtney
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby tomcourtney » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:05 pm

Looks like IKA will be the most cost effective health option for me so I need to persevere with my application for an Irish passport.
IKA is only an option for people from other EEC countries,
Will IKA entitlements for UK citizens continue after 31/12/20?
If not and I get an Irish passport will my wife qualify for IKA as well?
Lotsa questions but we will be on a strict budget till our pensions come through and private health care isn’t cheap.

Jeffstclair
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Jeffstclair » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:37 pm

Tom ....Sadly I think you are going have to stump up for private health insurance for the first year , until your UK state pension kicks in ....then with an S1 from DWP you will qualify for IKA or EOPYY as it is known now (plus an AMKA number like an NI number) ...however when you get your state pension and an S1,your wife as your dependent gets health cover as well .You are going to need health cover in order to get your residents permits and you are going to need them asap.... ....hope this helps ...

BST
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby BST » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:30 pm

If your pensions kick in later this year make sure you get your S1 cover straight away. If you are healthy and there's only a few months before you get your pension then just keep your fingers crossed. Healthcare is very good and pretty cheap here. Around 40 euros to see a consultant and 20 euros max to see a doctor. Tests and scans are very reasonable as well. It's more straightforward to see consultants and have texts than in the UK.
Do you have resident passes? You might need evidence of healthcare for those but many of us just had EHIC cards. If you're organised you could wait until you get your S1 cover if you haven't got your resident permits yet as you should be sorted before the end of December. All the best!

Kilkis
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Kilkis » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:52 pm

IKA was one of a plethora of occupational insurance schemes in Greece. Each type of industry used to have its own scheme. IKA was the one for salaried workers so it was the biggest single one and it was the one that interfaced with NI/NHS in the UK to administer reciprocal benefits defined in EU Directives. If you were a salaried worker about 16 % of your gross salary was stopped at source and paid into IKA. The employer also had to contribute around 25 % of your salary. This is rather like NI in the UK although the percentages are bigger. Being insured with IKA provided you with healthcover and a pension on retirement like NI does in the UK.

Over time the government has gradually amalgamated most (all?) of the different schemes. Healthcare was the first to achieve "full" amalgamation and is now known as EOPYY. Slightly later pensions were also amalgamated and so the "full" insurance scheme is now known as EFKA. There may be a few schemes that are still not amalgamated, which is why I put "full" in quotation marks, but I am not certain. You will tend to see the terms IKA/EOPYY/EFKA bandied about indiscriminately.

Simply being a member of another country does not automatically grant you healthcare. For example if you are a UK citizen you only get healthcare in Greece if:

    1 You are working in Greece and contributing to EFKA OR
    2 You are a UK State Pensioner.

There are a few other odd, short term categories, like nannies, but the above are the main ones. If you are legally resident in Greece before the end of 2020, i.e. with a Residence Certificate, and, at some time in the future, you are entitled to a UK State Pension then you will become eligible for reciprocal healthcare through EOPYY when you claim your UK State Pension. Your wife will also become entitled as your dependent. You will need to ask the Overseas Healthcare Team for an S1 Form including your wife on it and you can use that to register at your nearest EOPYY office. The S1 Form means that EOPYY provide the healthcare but they recover the costs from the UK.

As Jeff says, since you will not be eligible for healthcover through an S1 form until November 2021, you will need some form of private healthcare cover for both yourself and your wife in order to get the Residence Certificate. You can get minimum cover that will satisfy the authorities relatively cheaply but it will only provide basic cover so it depends on your attitude to risk. Alternatively you can purchase fuller cover at a higher price. Stavros who posts on here can probably advise you, he is an insurance agent.

If you are getting an Irish passport through lineage and have never worked in Ireland I would be amazed if you can get an S1 form from the Irish government. I don't know how it works in Ireland but I would imagine they will only pay for your healthcover if you have contributed to some sort of national insurance scheme while working there.

Warwick

Carolina
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Carolina » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:53 pm

tomcourtney wrote:Looks like IKA will be the most cost effective health option for me so I need to persevere with my application for an Irish passport.
IKA is only an option for people from other EEC countries,
Will IKA entitlements for UK citizens continue after 31/12/20?
If not and I get an Irish passport will my wife qualify for IKA as well?
Lotsa questions but we will be on a strict budget till our pensions come through and private health care isn’t cheap.


Healthcare under IKA - now called EOPYY - in Greece is a contributory system, so only available to those either a) working and paying Greek nat ins b) Greek pensioners c) Reciprocal healthcare for EU pensioners.

Option c) will expire at the end of the transition period for UK nationals, except those already settled in Greece.

In order to register and get a Residence Certificate, as a UK national you must do this before end of 2020 and you will be asked to show proof of health cover. An EHIC card may be accepted by the immigration police, or may not be (in theory it shouldnt be, but up to now they have accepted it for some). If not you can get a cheap health insurance policy to cover the residence certificate needs - some info on the thread here: viewtopic.php?t=10980

For the rest, as per the post above from BST!

Carolina
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Carolina » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:55 pm

N.B. Posted at the same time as Warwick!

mythos master
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby mythos master » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:10 pm

Don't know what the regs are now but when we moved out in 2004 we asked in uk about health cover and got something like 8 months cover based on our NI contributions for the then current tax year,after that we had to wait some years until we got uk state pensions,worth a phone call,i think,if you don't ask,you'll never know
a pessimist is an optimist with experience

ros21m
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby ros21m » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:42 pm

When I moved here in 2013, although not retired, I was given an S1, valid for 2 years, based on my UK National Insurance payments. This has now been stopped by the UK, you can only get an S1 now as a UK State pensioner.
Last edited by ros21m on Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kilkis
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Kilkis » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:57 pm

I think the temporary cover S1 Form, previously E106, for early retirees stopped in 2016, or thereabouts, when all the pension rules changed.

Warwick

tomcourtney
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby tomcourtney » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:20 am

Some great info, learned a lot, not necessarily what I wanted to hear though....
Looks like a difficult first year till my pension comes.
It would be good if my EHIC card could be accepted after 1/1/21 alongside an Irish passport... doubt it though.
Thanks all for your informative replies.

Jeffstclair
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Jeffstclair » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:55 am

Don't worry too much Tom . Cheap private health insurance can be found in order to fit the legal requirements so you can get your residence permits . And getting simple treatment privately is fast and not very expensive....

Yin&Yang
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Yin&Yang » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:11 am

It might be worth me adding that even with IKA cover, for things like operations, there will probably be a contribution which the patient is required to make. For example, Andrew has just had two cataract operations which without IKA would have cost in the region of 3000 Euros each op (according to someone we met last year while Andrew waited to take his driving test), while the cost for us with IKA was 830 Euros for each operation. I mention this for budgeting purposes.

Lynn
Someday is now : )

Kilkis
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Re: Health cover? What is IKA? And how?

Postby Kilkis » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:15 am

I could be wrong, Lynn, but I think your description needs some clarification.

    1 If you go to a private ophthalmic surgeon with no insurance of any kind then the cost of treatment may be high, but significantly less than the same treatment carried out privately in the UK.

    2 If you go to a private ophthalmic surgeon and you have IKA/EOPYY insurance you may get the treatment cheaper because the surgeon can recoup part of the cost from IKA/EOPYY.

    3 If you go to an ophthalmic surgeon in a public hospital and you have IKA/EOPYY insurance then the treatment should be free. To offset that you may have to wait a considerable time and you may have to go elsewhere in Greece to have the treatment.

I am guessing that Andrew was in category 2?

Warwick


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