Estonia has a common national health insurance which ensures medical care of equal quality for all insured persons. Each permanent resident of Estonia and a person who resides in Estonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit or the right of residence, for whom social tax is paid for, or who pays social tax for himself/herself, is entitled to health insurance.
Estonian Health Insurance Fund organises the national health insurance. Insured persons divide into:
- insured persons (insured by the employer, people who pay social tax for themselves, insured through the state);
- persons considered to be equal to insured persons on the basis of the Health Insurance Act or a corresponding contract (children, pregnant persons, pensioners, pupils, students, etc.).
Have a look at the detailed overview of the healthcare system in Estonia in the information material of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.
EU/EEA citizens are entitled to the same social welfare benefits in Estonia as Estonian residents. For this, you should obtain the EU Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the social service authority in your home country before arriving in Estonia.
EHIC grants the right to receive necessary medical care during your stay in the European Union and in the European Economic Area under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.
Please be aware that EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, does not cover patients’ costs when travelling for the purpose of medical treatment and does not guarantee free services. EHIC or its replacement certificate gives you the right to necessary healthcare during a temporary stay under the same rules and rights as for Estonian insured persons. Always show your EHIC along with your ID.
Citizens from non-EU/EEA countries have to obtain an internationally valid private health insurance. This is necessary to apply for a long-stay (D) visa or a temporary residence permit for studying in Estonia. Some of the insurance providers accepted by the Estonian Police and Border Guard are:
- ERGO (health insurance contract can be signed after the arrival to Estonia);
- Inges (health insurance contract can be signed online);
- Salva Kindlustuse AS (health insurance contract can be signed online);
- KindlustusEst (insurance broker who can help finding a suitable insurance provider; health insurance contract can be signed online).
For an alien to have health insurance as an employee, he/she must have the right to stay and work in Estonia, and he/she must have a personal identification code and an employment relationship in force. After the employer has registered the employment, the health insurance takes effect within 14 days following the registration of the employee.
Please also read the Estonian Health Insurance Fund’s information material aimed at foreigners Practical Information for Foreigners on Estonia’s Healthcare Services.