Detailed guide: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Estonia

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This information is about living in Estonia. Theres different guidance if youre visiting Estonia.

If you live in Estonia or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Estonia will stay the same for as long as you remain resident.

This guidance explains what you need to do in Estonia depending on your circumstances.

State healthcare in Estonia is run by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF).Healthcare is not completely free. You may still have to pay for some treatments and services.

At the moment, UK nationals usually access the Estonian healthcare system in one of these ways:

  • paying social security tax through their employer
  • paying social security tax independently
  • using a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering a UK-issued S1 with EHIF

The S1 form entitles UK nationals access to state healthcare on the same basis as an Estonian citizen. Youre entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits. Find out more about the S1.

Healthcare if you live and work in Estonia

You should register as a resident in Estonia if youre living there for 3 months or more.

Most residents need to pay social security tax to be covered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). Your dependants will also be covered.

If you live in Estonia or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Estonia will stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as you remain resident.

This means youll:

  • continue to get state healthcare in Estonia on the same basis as an Estonian resident
  • still be entitled to an Estonian EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK

You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

How to register

  1. Register your address online.
  2. Apply for an ID card at the Police and Border Guard offices.
  3. Arrange to pay social security tax.

If youre employed, your employer will arrange for your social security tax to come out of your salary each month before youre paid. Theyll also register you with EHIF.

If youre self-employed, you need to register your business activities with the Tax and Customs Board in the Employment Register. Theyll pass your details over to EHIF so that youre registered.

Once youre registered with EHIF youll have access to healthcare on the same basis as an Estonian citizen.

To register for a GP, go to your local GP surgery.

Show your ID card when you visit a doctor. Your ID card is not proof of your healthcare cover but it carries your ID number. The GP practice will take your ID number to check youre registered with EHIF.

How much youll pay

You have to pay for some medical services in Estonia. For example:

  • hospital stays: up to 25 euros
  • specialist doctor appointments: up to 5 euros
  • dental appointments: up to 5 euros
  • GP home visits: up to 5 euros
  • prescription medicines: 2.50 euros

GP appointments are free unless its a home visit.

If your UK employer has sent you to Estonia temporarily (posted workers)

A posted worker is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to another European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Currently, posted workers can use an EHIC or an S1 form to access Estonian healthcare.HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.

There will be no changes to healthcare access for posted workers in Estonia before the end of 2020.

You can continue to use your EHIC or S1 during this time.

UK-funded healthcare: using an S1 form in Estonia

Theres different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Estonia and receive either:

  • a UK State Pension
  • some other exportable benefits

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a posted worker or a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if youre eligible.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Estonian system.This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Estonia on the same basis as an Estonian citizen.

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to use an S1 form in Estonia

You must register your S1 form with EHIF. You can do this online or go to one of the EHIF customer service offices.

Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation letter. You will be entitled to healthcare on the same basis as an Estonian citizen.

UK-funded healthcare using an S1 from 1 January 2021

If youre living in Estonia before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from 1 January 2021 if youre either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other exportable benefits
  • a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another)

This means that youll get:

  • continued access to healthcare in Estonia using your UK-issued S1 form
  • a UK-issued EHIC for travel
  • planned treatments in other EU countries via the S2 route
  • access to the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales when youre visiting the UK

EHIC if you have a registered S1

You need to get a new UK-issued EHIC thats valid for travel from 1 January 2021.

Apply now for your new EHIC on the NHS website

Studying in Estonia

If youre in Estonia on 31 December 2020 because you study there, and your course continues beyond 2020, you need to apply for a new UK-issued EHIC.

Your EHIC entitles you to medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period in Estonia.

From 1 January 2021, your EHIC will only be valid in Estonia. Make sure you have travel insurance to cover the duration of your course.

Moving back to the UK

If you return to the UK youll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.

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