Like many other European States Lithuania has put in place the compulsory health insurance system which means that residents of Lithuania are obliged to obtain health insurance coverage (i.e. pay compulsory health insurance contributions). With respect to the insured the State guarantees healthcare services compensated by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF).
The Lithuanian health insurance system is based on the principles of solidarity and universality. The principle of universality is understood as an arrangement where all citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign nationals permanently residing in Lithuania, as well as foreign nationals temporarily residing and legally employed in the country are obliged to pay compulsory health insurance contributions, and upon an occurrence of an insured event are entitled to receive healthcare services compensated from the budget of the CHIF.
The principles of solidarity means that the contributions paid by all employed persons, or persons otherwise engaged in active economy activities, as well as the funds of the State budget contribute to the accumulation of the budget of the CHIF. The conditions are thus created to pay for the healthcare services provided to the insured from the CHIF. Every person contributes to the funding of the healthcare sector according to his practical abilities (with the amount of the contribution ranging accordingly); however, that in no way implies that the compulsory healthcare insurance contribution will be allocated to pay for healthcare services provided to the specific person.
The compulsory health insurance is a guarantee for all insured that when needed their healthcare expenses will be compensated from the budget of the CHIF, irrespective of the contributions paid by the specific insured individual. The major part of the revenue of the CHIF is represented by the compulsory health insurance contributions paid by the insured and the contributions paid on their behalf. The range of persons insured with State funds is fairly broad (those are retired persons, disabled, mothers in child-rising leave, schoolchildren, the unemployed registered with the Labour Exchange, persons receiving relief compensations and other individuals specified in Article 6(4) of the law on Health Insurance of the Republic of Lithuania). However, it is also evident that based on the principle of solidarity and universality on behalf of weaker members of the society the burden of the compulsory health insurance is borne by socially stronger and economically more active members of the society.