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Health Insurance in Greece

Learn about how health insurance works in Greece

Greece is a warm and welcoming country with an outward-looking mentality, and a high level of English spoken, particularly in the cities. It is home to Golden Beach, the party islands of Crete and Corfu, and some of the most beautiful ancient ruins and artifacts in the world; for this reason, it is not surprising that tourism is one of the largest industries in Greece.

The private health system in Greece is of good quality but can be very expensive. You must make sure you have adequate health insurance. It is necessary that a person travelling to Greece purchases full travel insurance or private health coverage if that person intends to stay long in Greece.

It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

  1. Does my policy cover me when I am outside of the United States? and
  2. Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. You can’t simply give them your insurance card and expect that it will go through. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to purchase a separate policy for your trip.

Expatriates who are working in Greece and pay regular contribution to social security may be entitled to full or subsidized health care benefits. In such cases, private health insurance can cover the portion of the bill that cannot be covered by the government. However, the public hospitals - although they have the best doctors - are a bit of a shock to some people. In general, insurance companies that require higher premiums offer more choices of medical practitioners and health facilities. However, almost all hospitals that accept foreign insurance are those in Athens or Thessaloniki.

Students Abroad

Before studying abroad, don't forget to check the institution, all requirements and documents, housing, accreditation and study program, scholarships, immigration regulations, admissions and your health insurance. As Europe becomes an increasingly popular destination for study abroad students, it is important that parents and students are familiar with the necessary precautions to aid in a successful experience. Entering into a new culture and experiencing a new way of living is an extremely rewarding endeavor. To ensure there are no major hiccups along the way, it is crucial to consider student insurance options for coverage abroad to make sure your student will receive any necessary treatment for the duration of their stay in Greece or any other European country. Although there is no reason to fear the worst, taking the time to find the proper student insurance will give you peace of mind that your student will get the service they need in case of any emergencies.

Currently, there are moves from the Greek government to upgrade the healthcare system, having obtained funding assistance from the European Union. Such improvements include the building of new facilities, developing mobile medical units, improving accident and emergency facilities and the installation of high-tech medical equipment. Keep in mind, though, the availability of public hospitals is limited to certain areas, which tend to cluster in big cities.

The European Health Insurance Card

Even if you don't have your European Health Insurance Card with you, you are entitled to health care, although conditions of payment and reimbursement may be more complicated. In some countries the European Health Insurance Card is the same as the national health card. In others, you need to apply for it. You should not have to pay anything for it. You should get it from your health insurer before leaving home.

Best Insurance Plans for Greece

We have a range of insurance plans, however for students studying in Greece the best insurance options are: