If an Estonian old age pensioner wishes to move to another EU Member State, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or United Kingdom 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, Switzerland or United Kingdom 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.