Insurance and its adoption have an entirely different aspect for people living in well-developed countries compared to third-world countries. In third-world or developing countries, insurance is considered a life cover or vehicle insurance. Some people take it as an investment plan to support kids’ education. Businesses also get their capital insured to secure their assets, known as corporate insurance. Being an ex-pat and coming from any such third-world country, it is good to thoroughly study insurance types before opting for any type of insurance.
Generally, spending out of your pocket is expensive whenever insurance is available. Any unforeseen expense can make you spend much more and throw your budget at least for a month or so out of balance. So, people living in developed countries want to avoid taking such risks and surprises and prefer to spend a recurring amount instead of getting involved in such huge expenses. People prefer to pay an affordable monthly to utilize insurance when needed.
Before you finalize your plan to move to Greece, we suggest you finalize all the insurances you will need while staying in Greece. If you are going to Greece for a short period to explore the beauty and its hidden charm, then you should get travel insurance that will cover your essential health and asset need during Greece travel. However, for a two- or three-week short trip, people usually go to their home country’s trusted insurance agencies that will provide them with travel insurance. On the contrary, those planning to move to Greece for a few months or years or even want to relocate there in Greece should get insured by the local insurance providers existing there. The reason being it will be easy for you to access an insurance company if some need arises.
You may still be thinking about whether you should go for the insurance policy; here, we have combined some benefits associated with your insurance policy that you can opt for.
Primary Benefits For Getting An Insurance
The following are the primary considerations that you should consider while signing any insurance policy:
- Check out the policy statement about how much time the company will take to evaluate, resolve and process the insurance claims that you have made.
- Be wise and generous enough to select the insurance amount for third-party liability and your insurance plan. If you end up in a situation where you damage an expensive asset of someone, you should not be left alone by your insurer.
- The insurer should provide non-stop support through its 24/7 helpline to provide uninterrupted customer support.
- Check out your insurance company’s potential to see if it can pay for your insurance commitments.
- For a vehicle insurance plan, look at all the aspects associated with car immobility. Let’s say your car gets a flat tire, has an engine problem, or is just out of fuel. Will your insurance provider cover all the costs? Secondly, you can always revise the insurance plan yearly for vehicle insurance. With the car price depreciation, it is not advisable to pay high premiums as it will not save money.
- Most of the insurance providers in Europe do not cover the damage if you are drunk, so you need to check with your insurer in Greece whether the insurance plan covers it or not.
- Only some insurance plans will cover your possible health issues, so you better check them before it’s late. When getting your life insurance, you must carefully determine how much coverage you plan to get for yourself and your family. In case of an accident, you should be clear about how long you will be covered and how many dependents will be covered in case of death.
- This is always good to hire an insurance agent because you might miss some points, and an expert will compare policies and decide whatever is best suitable for you.
As soon as you get to Greece, you need to ensure both yourself and your possessions, including any vehicles, homes, and even pets. A significant relocation, such as relocating permanently or for an extended period, can be costly and leave financial craters that require some time to fill. It’s a good idea to think carefully about which insurances you want to sign up for and which ones you should put off until later. Here, we’ll talk about Private and Public Health Insurance In Greece that every Greek should have.
Greece has some of the top medical facilities in the world. The World Health Organization surveyed 191 nations, and Greece came in at number 14 on the list, a significant achievement for Greece. Even free emergency medical care is available to all Greek citizens, regardless of nationality (citizens are covered too). However, a sizable portion of the population continues to have private health insurance because of its benefits. Your residency status and length of stay in Greece significantly impact the availability of free healthcare. You will be required to make social security contributions and be eligible for free healthcare if you work in Greece as a skilled worker.
If you have a chronic disease, health insurance in Greece can be purchased for as little as 26 euros per month, saving you money. In addition, several healthcare plans also cover maternity care, which will cost a lot, whether it’s a simple check-up or a hospital stay.
Advanced dental procedures and preventive dental care are also covered by health insurance. Every five to six years or so, health insurance also covers denture replacement.
Health insurance also provides coverage for inevitable accidents that result in disability.
There are various worries about a new place, employment, and, most importantly, health when someone moves away from their native nation, especially for extended periods. Naturally, you can concentrate on your new career and home and will appreciate the new location, provided your health is good. We advise getting comprehensive health insurance as soon as you book your flight to Greece so you won’t have to pay medical bills out of pocket.
Health Insurance Options In Greece
Greece’s National Health System (ESY) seeks to provide all citizens with free and equal access to high-quality healthcare. The system’s primary, secondary, and tertiary service delivery tiers comprise a mixture of public and private health service providers.
Compulsory Vs. Voluntary Health Insurance In Greece
Compulsory healthcare in Greece is provided by the government as public insurance and is primarily free. Voluntary insurance mainly focuses on private health insurance and is provided by private companies.
Public Health Insurance In Greece
In general, ex-pat residents who pay into the Social Insurance Institute can access free or inexpensive public healthcare for themselves and their families (IKA). The governmental insurance corporation IKA is in charge of managing Greece’s social security. As soon as foreigners begin employment, they must apply for national health insurance managed by IKA and be issued an AMKA social security card. Patients are often expected to pay the price for prescribed medications. However, medical care provided by IKA-approved professionals is typically free.
Free laboratory tests, maternity care, medical-related appliances or devices, and emergency transportation are further perks. Other citizens of the European Union may also receive free medical care as long as they possess an EHIC, which grants the holder access to public health coverage for a constrained period, typically no more than 90 days. Retirees from EU nations who want to settle in Greece and get their pension from their home nation are also eligible for state health benefits. The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which took the place of the EHIC for UK nationals after Brexit, can be used by citizens of that country.
Through ESY, primary healthcare is offered. This comprises public hospital outpatient divisions, rural health clinics, and offices. Other public primary healthcare is offered through clinics run by municipalities, local governments, and social insurance funds.
Greek hospitals are divided into general and specialized categories based on their services. Most medical specialties have multi-specialty departments in general hospitals. Referral hubs for a specific specialty typically exist in specialized hospitals.
Public ambulance services, or EKAVs, are widely accessible in bigger cities and typically have quick response times. However, access may be restricted on some islands and in rural areas. In this case, private ambulances, EKAV helicopters, and taxis might be good choices for emergencies.
In an emergency, ex-pats should dial 166. When operators cannot speak English, foreigners can call the standard European emergency number 112 to speak with an English operator.
Citizens Of EU Countries
Greek medical services can be paid for with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is accepted in all EU member states. This card, however, does not pay for the expenditures of private treatment. Members of the EHIC can receive different dental operations when they see a doctor at a PEDY (National Primary Healthcare Network) facility.
How To Enroll In The Government-Run Health Insurance Program
If Employed By An Employer
You need an AMKA (social security number) if you work in Greece, and your employer is responsible for making contributions on your behalf. Additionally, they are responsible for locating a provider for you. You are responsible for letting the local EFKA office know if your place of employment does not enroll you.
Documents That You Must Bring To The EFKA Office
The following is the list of documentation that must be provided to the EFKA:
- An S1 form with your tax ID
- copy of a passport
- two passport-sized images
- AMKA number, or national social security number
- A residence permit (if you are going to be a resident in Greece for more than three months)
- To be insured if you work in Greece, you must pay a 50-day contribution to EFKA. You’ll get a health booklet that serves as proof of your insurance. Each year, the booklet needs to be replaced.
If you are self-employed, you must complete an OAEE insurance application (Organisation for the Self-Employed).
OAEE Office Requirements For Documents
The following is the list of documentation you must deliver to the OAEE office:
- Greek ID card or passport as identification
- Proof of recent three-month insurance payments
- two passport-sized images
Since the insurance system depends on reimbursement, you should always check with EFKA to ensure you have insurance coverage.
Dependent Family Members
Once you have made all the necessary contributions, your family will receive coverage under your health insurance. Dependent members include:
- your partner (if unemployed)
- one’s parents (under some conditions)
- Unmarried children who remain with you until age 18 or, if they’re unemployed, until age 24. If your kids are still in school, wait until they turn 26 or two years after their studies are finished.
- Children with a disability rate of greater than 67 percent (it has to be assessed by a medical professional)
- Siblings with a disability rate of more than 67 percent (it has to be evaluated by a medical professional)
- Protected members include grandchildren, siblings, orphans who have lost one parent, and orphans who have lost both parents.
- If certain conditions are met, a divorced spouse may contribute to the institution of the former spouse.
Private Health Insurance In Greece
Private healthcare facilities in Greece are outfitted with more advanced technology than public facilities. However, IKA does not cover these facilities. Greek private hospitals also provide healthcare to foreign nationals, and its medical staff is more likely to speak English. Several private hospitals also work with healthcare facilities in the US and other countries. That is why a good percentage of the population opts for private health insurance in Greece.
Much select private health insurance since public insurance does not adequately cover medical expenses. In contrast to public facilities, private medical institutions have reduced wait times.
Private insurance may provide coverage for what public insurance does not. Private insurance may cover all expenses in rare cases. You can extend your insurance to cover you in Greece if you already have it in another country. Allianz, Alico AIG Life, Ethniki Asfalistiki, Bupa Global, Now Health International, Generali, Piraeus Bank, and Cigna Global all offer private insurance in Greece.
How Much Does Private Health Insurance In Greece Cost?
Different insurance companies provide insurance plans depending on the needs of the people. Different companies’ Insurance premium starts at as low as 18 euros per year and it goes up to 300 euros per year.
Which Private Health Insurance Should You Choose In Greece?
Private healthcare insurance plans are designed for those who want to access high-end services through private healthcare providers. Multiple insurance plans are designed to cater to the needs of the general public. Just to give you an idea, we are giving the example of the famous Now Health International insurance plans. One category falls in World Care, and the other one falls under Simple Care.
World Care Essential
is made to protect you from the high expenditures of significant medical occurrences. We offer our least expensive plan for those who want to be sure they can only get inpatient and day-patient healthcare when they genuinely need it.
Worldwide, inpatient and outpatient care are covered by World Care Essential. For in- and day patient care, there is a wide variety of yearly deductibles, going up to USD 15,000 for individuals who want to keep their premiums as low as possible. This plan has 31 euros premium monthly to be paid for inpatient and day patient care.
World Care Advance
Your inpatient, day-patient, and outpatient medical care, GP and specialist appointments, physiotherapy, and alternative therapies are all covered by World Care Advance.
For individuals who wish to keep their premiums as cheap as possible, there is a wide variety of yearly deductibles for in and day-patient care, going up to USD 15,000, as well as outpatient per-visit excess and co-insurance alternatives.
This plan starts at 112 euros premium per month for inpatient, day patients care, and outpatient care.
World Care Excel
World Care Excel offers better benefit levels than World Care Advance and covers you for inpatient, outpatient, and day-patient treatments.
After a nine-month wait, it also includes normal and complicated dental care.
For individuals who wish to keep their premiums as cheap as 132 euros per month, there is a wide variety of yearly deductibles for in and day-patient treatment, up to USD 15,000, as well as outpatient per-visit excess and co-insurance alternatives.
World Care Apex
Our most comprehensive plan, World Care Apex, has very high benefit caps. It provides normal maternity care after a 12-month waiting period and inpatient, day-patient, and outpatient therapy at greater levels than World Care Excel.
It is appropriate for those who desire the maximum level of protection and may be beginning family planning.
For individuals who wish to keep their premiums as cheap as 211 euros per month, there is a wide variety of yearly deductibles for in and day-patient treatment, up to USD 15,000, and outpatient per-visit excess and co-insurance alternatives.
What Does Private Health Insurance Cover?
The following are additional benefits of Greek private health insurance in addition to comprehensive, high-quality care:
- Expert charges for elective plastic surgery
- Modern dentistry procedures
- Medical care at the top facilities nationwide
What Factors Determine The Price Of Private Insurance?
The cost of private health insurance is determined by a variety of factors, some of which are as follows:
- Age (the older, the more it costs)
- frequency of payment
- residence country
- Area of coverage (if you are only covered in Greece or other countries as well)
- choice of product (if it uses the newest technology, it will cost more)
- Co-insurance and Deductibles
Emergency Services In Greece
The emergency services in Greece are free, and public ambulance services are available in larger cities. On some islands or in distant areas, however, it could be challenging to locate one. Foreign nationals can dial 166 in case of an emergency. Keep in mind that not all operators can communicate in English. If you want to speak with an English operator, you must dial the 112 emergency line in Europe.
Access To Medicines In Greece
Although medication is readily available in Greece, some prescriptions may necessitate a hospital visit. If you’re an ex-pat and plan to carry prescription medication from home, make sure it’s in the original packaging and include a note from your doctor describing your ailment, the medication you’re taking, and its generic name. You should also confirm that Greece accepts the prescription you are bringing.
Pharmacies are widely available in larger cities. Since many Greek pharmacists speak English, interacting with them as an ex-pat will be straightforward. A green cross often identifies pharmacies.
Mental Healthcare In Greece
In recent years, Greece has seen an increase in the number of new mental health treatments offered. Additionally, foreign nationals in Greece have access to comprehensive and advanced services.
Greek Golden Visa Applicants’ Access To Healthcare
You cannot receive free medical care in Greece without a Golden Greek Visa. If you choose not to live permanently in Greece, you must purchase private health insurance to pay for your medical costs there.
Visa/Residency Health Insurance Requirements
The majority of visas and residency permits demand confirmation of health insurance. This is accomplished using a straightforward, affordable strategy called “residence permit insurance.” This basic insurance plan gives you minimum coverage for your visa or residency permit application. For instance, my plan provided annual hospitalization coverage of €10,000 ($12,000), outpatient care coverage of €1,500 ($1,800), and personal accident coverage of €15,000 ($18,000). I filed this insurance with each renewal of my resident permit and paid €150 ($180) per year for it.
This plan can satisfy your requirements for a visa or residency permit if you don’t obtain private Greek health insurance and are not eligible for public Greek health insurance.
You will ultimately learn about the fakelaki if you spend enough time in Greece. Greece has a long-standing, not much legal custom of giving a doctor a cash envelope (fakelaki) in exchange for his services. This is something between a bribe and a thank-you gesture. The tone changes from doctor to doctor and is very informal. There is a wide range between doctors who accept extra payment and those who will not; some even demand it. You are considerably less likely to be asked for an “additional payment” if you have private insurance and live in a big city. The problem is more likely to arise if you visit a public hospital in a far-off village. I suggest involving your Greek friends if this situation arises since they can guide you through it. It hasn’t come up for me in my eight years in Greece, but I know it does.
Combination Of Public And Private Health Insurance In Greece
In Greece, people have public healthcare available for everyone, provided they are paying for social security benefits. Fifteen percent of the population does not rely on public health only. Rather, they opt for private health insurance, too, because of its more extensive coverage. Maternity care routine, complex dental treatment, and outpatient care are the key things that force people to go for a private health insurance plan in Greece.
Overall Cost Of Healthcare
As a last point, it is also essential to know that there is a reasonable probability moving to Greece will improve your general health. Two of the five Blue Zone locations, where citizens live the longest, are in Mediterranean countries, demonstrating the same health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, consisting of fresh, unprocessed foods bathed in olive oil (Ikaria, Greece and Sardinia, Italy). The Greek way of life, which includes many afternoon naps, is beneficial to your health because it might be slower-paced and less stressful than life in a major American city. I saw a decrease in my stress level, a rise in my attention to eating well and exercising, and a sense of wellness because of the nation’s social structure. The fact that Greece is good for my health has shocked me. It might work for you as well.
It is important to note that overall, medical costs in Greece are generally lower than in the United States. This includes the cost of blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, and other procedures. A broker can list expected expenses based on your medical provider and healthcare network. Compared to the US, prescription drugs are often less expensive. Generally, you should spend at least 50% less on your medicines. Greek private health insurance premiums are frequently less expensive than identical coverage in the US.
Greece is well-known for its natural beauty, but it also needs more financial stability, making its people and residents only occasionally able to rely on its free emergency healthcare system. Insuring oneself is one strategy to control risk. Getting the necessary insurance will reduce your financial losses, whether you are an employee or an employer. These unforeseen financial losses are covered by insurance, but if you don’t have any, you might have to foot the bill for everything. Choosing the right insurance plan is always advantageous whether you are a resident of another nation or an ex-pat.