Healthcare in Lithuania
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Healthcare in Lithuania
Lithuanian healthcare system is consisted of both public and private sectors. Like many other European States, Lithuania has a compulsory health insurance system and permanent residents are required to pay compulsory health insurance contributions. Lithuanian healthcare system is state-funded with revenues coming from State and social insurance activities as well as contributions from employers and employees. All employers are responsible for registration of all new employees with the health insurance fund. Contributions are taken directly from wages by employers. Those who are self-employed must make individual contributions on their own. People who are unemployed or on a long-term sickness as well as women on maternity leave and pensioners do not need to contribute to the healthcare fund. The State guarantees free healthcare provisions for insured persons. These services include hospitalization, specialist treatment, prescriptions, pregnancy, childbirth and rehabilitation. An indicative list of basic health services can be found at:
Free state healthcare services in case of an accident are guaranteed for all EU citizens who are insured in other EU country including Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Keep in mind that the card does not cover private healthcare services. Compared to most developed countries, Lithuania has a relatively high number of General Practitioners. You are always free to register with any doctor of your choice. However, always make sure that chosen doctor is supported by third-party financing schemes, otherwise, you will have to pay for the medical treatment with your own money.
No matter what country you decide to relocate to, getting private healthcare is always a safe option. The quality of national healthcare fluctuates from country to country. The price of the most fundamental care is often very high and this is supposing you find a suitable hospital or doctor to begin with. Private healthcare, on the other hand, often adheres to a standardisation of service. Consequently, as an expat, it is probably wise to invest in private healthcare at least until you are completely familiar with the national health system. Getting medical treatment for you and your family without comprehensive health insurance could prove arduous, and no-one wants the hassle of bureaucracy in an emergency. You may even find that the country you are emigrating to has no national health service.
The benefits of private healthcare include:
- Peace of mind;
- Better efficiency and quality of service;
- Could save large sums money (possibly thousands of pounds) in the case of an emergency;
- A vaster choice of services and practitioners;
- No waiting lists or bureaucracy;
- Ensures you do not have to settle for local, possibly inadequate or unhygienic, services;
- Request an English-speaking doctor / nurse;
- Necessity, not luxury.
In recent years, private health insurance enquiries have soared in popularity amongst emigrants. By way of policy comparison, people and businesses are continually looking to reduce the cost of their private healthcare. For many, this is because private health cover is not considered an extravagance, but a requisite for living overseas. However, it must be acknowledged that the rules and regulations associated with international private healthcare are often complex and attempts to find realistic costs and cover can be both timely and tedious. Therefore, it is vital to approach private health insurance with a few certainties in mind:
Who can provide it and what you should expect.
Many private health insurers now provide cover for most countries, so your options are vast. However, if you are emigrating to a country without nationalised healthcare, there are many factors to consider when choosing an insurance company and policy many of which differ by location and cost.
Will the insurer cover:
- A chronic illness / condition?
- A country at war?
You will have to weigh-up the costs of such services as private doctors, outpatient medicine, and dental cover. But that's not all. You may also have to decide where you'd like to receive treatment in the case of a serious health problem or injury. Does your adopted nation meet requirements, or would you prefer to return to the UK for treatment?
Your chosen destination
All though a policy may meet your medical requirements, a country's health service may not. Therefore, wherever your business takes you, it is important to consider:
- Laws and regulations of the country
- Accessibility and availability of treatment
- 24-hour emergency treatment
- Case management and service delivery
- Choosing your health insurance policy
When deciding upon a suitable private health plan, will you require any of the following benefits? If so, will you be able to receive them?
- The region / country of relocation
- Psychiatric care
- Emergency evacuation and transportation
- In-patient and day case management
- Out-patient treatment
- Chronic and existing illnesses and conditions
- Dental / optical requirements and treatmentOut-of-area treatment
You will find that many policies include a small standard excess, which will be charged either per year, or per claim. However, if you choose a higher excess plan these premiums can be remarkably reduced.
Do I have any other choices?
Depending on where you decide to relocate, there are other health care options available to you:
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Providing you within the European Economic Area, Lithuanian citizens are eligible for emergency treatment with a EHIC. It entitles you to exactly the same standard of healthcare as a national. However, the card does not cover the cost of repatriation should you need to be flown back to the UK. In some instances, the EHIC will cover you for pre-existing conditions, and it is often possible to prearrange treatments. Do remember, however, that an EHIC will not cover treatment at a private clinic or centre: always ask where you are being referred to for any treatment.
Healthcare standards in Lithuania may be different than what it is back home. To make sure that you or your family are always fully covered in case of an emergency or illness, it is recommended to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance or an expat medical insurance plan. It will cover all medical costs, including medical evacuation in case of serious accident or illness.