Medical care for old age pensioners in Europe
If an Estonian old age pensioner leaves Estonia to settle in another EU member state, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, they will have the right to receive medical care in their new place of residence on the same basis as old age pensioners of that country.
The same applies to old age pensioners who move to live in Estonia from an EU member state, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland - they have the right to receive medical care in Estonia on the same basis as Estonian old age pensioners.
In 2019, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund joined the electronic exchange of social security information (EESSI) as one of the first member states of the European Union. EESSI helps social security institutions across the EU to exchange information about applicable legislation, illness, occupational diseases and accidents at work more quickly and securely, as required by EU social security coordination rules. More information about EESSI can be found on the European Commission's website.
When settling in Estonia
Pensioners moving in Estonia from another EU Member State have the right to receive medical care in Estonia on equal terms with Estonian old age pensioners. In order to prove this right, certificates S1 or E121 issued by the social or health insurance institution of the country from which the person receives retirement payment must be submitted to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. If you need help finding the authority issuing an S1 certificate, you can contact the national contact point of your country. Their contacts are available on our website.
For an old age pensioner from a EU Member State, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland to receive treatment in Estonia on equal terms with Estonian old age pensioners, the following steps are necessary.
- You must submit an S1 or E121 certificate in two copies to the customer service office of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund together with the application "Application for registration of an insured person and/or his/her family members in another EU Member State" on our website. You can fill in and submit the application also at the customer service office.
- Upon receipt of the application, EHIF verifies that the person's place of residence is in Estonia according to the Estonian Population Register and that he or she does not already have insurance here on any other basis (e.g. as an employee or a person receiving a state pension in Estonia). If a person’s place of residence is in Estonia and he/she is not entitled to insurance on any other basis, the person is added to the Estonian health insurance system.
- After that, a person has the right to receive health care services in Estonia on equal terms with local old age pensioners.
- A person will be notified in writing on the granting of health insurance.
- The costs of provided health care services will be compensated to Estonia by the state that issued the S1 or E121 certificate.
Please note! When visiting a doctor in Estonia, you must show your ID with Estonian personal identification code (ID card, passport).
Travel and medical care in Europe
When old age pensioners living in Estonia travel to a European Union member state, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, they should take a European health insurance card with them; it can be very useful in case of a health problem abroad. When presenting the European Health Insurance Card, pensioners will be provided with necessary medical care in the above-mentioned countries on equal terms with the insured persons living in those countries. For example, if a person lives in Estonia and is insured in Estonia on the basis of an S1 certificate issued to him or her by KELA in Finland, then KELA will also issue him or her a European health insurance card.
Moving to another EU member state
If an Estonian old age pensioner wishes to move to another EU Member State, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, he or she must apply for an S1 certificate from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund in order to receive medical care abroad. The S1 certificate must be presented to the social or health insurance institution of the new country of residence. On the basis of an S1 certificate, the person is connected to the health insurance system of another country and is treated equally with other old age pensioners of this country, but Estonia remains his or her state of affiliation.
If necessary, an S1 certificate can also be issued to family members who have moved to another country with an old age pensioner. Family members insured on the basis of an S1 certificate have the same rights to health care services as the pensioner both in the country of residence and in Estonia. Estonia compensates to the country of residence for medical expenses.
Please note! The precondition for issuing an S1 certificate is that the person has notified the Estonian Population Register of his/her settling abroad. The population register can be notified of a change of residence through the e-population register, local government or the Estonian embassy.
After the issue of S1 certificate, a person retains the right to receive medical care required during his/her temporary stay in Estonia. For example, when he/she visits Estonia to visit his/her family or have a holiday here. In order to prove your right to necessary medical care, you must show your ID card or other identity document with an Estonian personal identification code.
During the period when a person is insured in another country on the basis of an S1 certificate, his/her right to receive planned medical care in Estonia is suspended. Planned medical care includes, for example, long-planned surgeries; as well as services that can be postponed until the person returns to his/her country of residence.
When a person returns in Estonia, he/she must fill in an application and submit it to EHIF to restore his/her health insurance cover. The form can be found on the EHIF's website entitled "Application for termination of certificate E121/S1 and renewal of insurance". The form is also available at EHIF's customer service offices.
Please note! You have to notify the population register of your change of residence.
Travel and medical care in Europe
When old age pensioners travel to a European Union member state, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, they should take a European health insurance card with them; it can be very useful in case of a health problem abroad. Upon presenting the European Health Insurance Card, old age pensioners will receive necessary medical care in the above-mentioned countries on equal terms with the insured persons residing in those countries.
Old age pensioners and their dependent family members can order the European Health Insurance Card from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, it is free of charge. For example, if an old age pensioner lives in Finland, he or she is insured there on the basis of an S1 certificate issued by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, and wants to go on a tourist trip to the Netherlands, he or she must order a European Health Insurance Card from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. With that card, he or she is entitled to receive necessary medical care during his or her journey in the Netherlands on equal terms with the insured persons in the Netherlands.
More information on the European Health Insurance Card and how to order it can be found here.