Pensioners and the EU

A pensioner who wishes to move to Estonia or from Estonia to another EU member state is entitled to health care on equal terms with the residents of the given state. If an Estonian pensioner wishes to move to another member state, then it is possible to apply for a form E121/S1 to receive health care abroad. In several cases, Estonia will remain the insuring country of the person living abroad.

To receive the form E121/S1, it is necessary to file an application at the local department of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. The application form is also available at customer service offices. After being issued the form E121/S1, the person still retains the right to receive health care during a temporary stay in Estonia, for example while coming to visiting family or for holidays. To prove the right for necessary health care, the person must present his/her ID card or other identity document with the Estonian identification code. The right to receive services considered planned treatment in Estonia (i.e. surgery planned in advance; services that can be postponed until the return of the person to his/her state of residence, etc.) will be suspended for the period during which the pensioner is insured in another EU member state on the basis of the form E121/S1.

If a pensioner from another member state wishes to move to Estonia, then he/she must submit either a form E121 or S1 to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. Information about the process of getting insured.

NB! If you travel outside the European Union, then it is advisable to get private travel insurance. The Health Insurance Fund does not govern this domain.

Moving to Estonia

Pursuant to regulation 883/2004, pensioners moving to Estonia from another EU member state will gain the right to receive health care on equal terms with Estonian pensioners. To verify this right, a person must submit either the standard form E121 or S1 to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund; the form is issued by the social security or health insurance authority of the state that pays the person’s pension (the contacts in EU states).

In order to receive insurance:

1. Submit two copies of the form E121 or S1 to a customer service office of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund along with the application available at our website. You can also fill in the application at the customer service office.

2. When the Health Insurance Fund’s receives your application and forms, it will verify that your place of residence is in Estonia according to the Estonian Population Register and that you are not already insured here on other grounds (e.g. as an employee or as a person receiving the state pension in Estonia). If your place of residence is in Estonia and you do not have a right for insurance on other grounds, then you will be provided with health insurance and you will be entitled to all health services on equal terms with local pensioners.

3. You will be notified of being granted health insurance in writing.

4. You can order a European Health Insurance Card from the same establishment that provided your form E121/S1. For example, if you got your form E121/S1 from the Finnish KELA, then KELA will also issue your European Health Insurance Card. You need the European Health Insurance Card if you travel to any other EU member state besides Estonia. The card gives you the right to receive necessary health care while staying in another state on equal terms with the persons insured in that state.

During a doctor’s appointment in Estonia, present an identity document with the Estonian personal identity code (ID card, driver’s licence, passport).

Moving to another EU member state

Estonia will continue to pay the pension to a pensioner moving to another EU member state; hence, Estonia will also remain the insuring country of the pensioner. As the insuring country, Estonia will cover the medical treatment expenses of the Estonian pensioner to the pensioner’s state of residence. The Estonian Health Insurance Fund will also pay for the pensioner’s family members who live in a state different from the insuring country.

A person receiving Estonian state pension who is moving to live in another member state must take the standard form E121/S1 issued by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund with him/her. The registration of the form in the person’s new state of residence will give the pensioner the right for any kind of health care on equal terms with other pensioners of that state.

If necessary, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund will add other dependent family members moving to the other country with the pensioner to the form E121/S1. The family members have equal rights with the pensioner in their state of residence as well as in Estonia.

To receive a form E121/S1, it is necessary to file an application at the local department of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. After receiving the form E121/S1, the person still retains the right to receive health care during temporary stay in Estonia, for example while coming to visiting family or for holidays. To prove the right for necessary health care, the person must present his/her ID card or other identity document with the Estonian identification code. The right to receive services considered planned treatment in Estonia (i.e. surgery planned in advance; services that can be postponed until the return of the person to his/her state of residence, etc.) will be suspended for the period during which the pensioner is insured in another EU member state on the basis of the form E121/S1.

NB! The prerequisite for issuing the form is that the person has notified the Estonian Population Register of his/her settling abroad. The population register can be notified of the change of residence through the local government or the Estonian embassy.

The pensioner and his/her dependent family member can order the European Health Insurance Card from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.

The European Health Insurance Card grants the right to receive necessary health care in EU member states other than the person’s state of residence and Estonia.

Example: If you live in Finland, you are insured there on the basis of the form E121/S1 issued by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and if you wish to go on a tourist trip to the Netherlands, then you have to request the European Health Insurance Card from EHIF. The card grants you the right to receive necessary health are during your trip to the Netherlands on equal terms with persons insured in the Netherlands.

Read more about the benefits and ordering process of the European Health Insurance Card.

Competent authorities in the European Union