Health Insurance in Lithuania: important information for Third-Country Nationals
Statistical data indicate there has been an increase in the number of people immigrating to Lithuania from foreign countries. A portion of those who come to Lithuania are Lithuanians who have previously worked and lived abroad, whereas the rest are foreign nationals who often come from third countries. What are the things they need to know about compulsory health insurance (CHI)? And what are the steps they need take to comply with CHI requirements on time and to be able to receive health care services covered from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) budget?
According to Natalija Jelenskienė, Head of the Register of Persons Eligible for the Compulsory Health Insurance of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) under the Minister of Health, aliens who come to Lithuania from third countries and who hold a national visa (D) are not eligible for CHI. They do not pay CHI contributions and thus are not entitled to receive health care services covered from the CHIF budget.
"Aliens holding a national visa (D) had been subject to the requirement to get insurance from private insurance companies for the entire period of visa validity before coming to Lithuania. Otherwise they would not have been able to obtain a visa. If necessary, they should contact the company that has provided them with an insurance policy regarding the payment or reimbursement for the health care services rendered to them. The number of these services is provided for in the health insurance agreement," said N. Jelenskienė.
According to her, other conditions apply to third-country nationals who hold a temporary or permanent residence permit.
A foreign national who holds a long-term residence permit of the Republic of Lithuania to reside in European Community (permanent residence permit to live in Lithuania) becomes the participant of the CHI system from the day this document comes into force. Pursuant to the applicable law, foreign nationals permanently residing in Lithuania must pay CHI contributions on a monthly basis just like permanent Lithuanian residents. The state provides CHI coverage for these foreign nationals if they fall within the group of persons entitled to CHI coverage provided by the state (e. g. if they lose their job and register with the Labour Exchange).
A foreign national who holds a permit for a temporary residence in Lithuania is entitled to receive health care services reimbursed from the CHIF budget only if he/she engages in an economic activity, e. g. he/she carries out an economic activity under a business license or has employment relationship (or equivalent), e. g. he/she is employed under an employment contract. The insurance coverage for these persons are valid throughout the entire period of their employment provided they pay their contributions as required by law. If the economic activity or the employment relationship of these foreign nationals terminate and they have been in employment in Lithuania for at least 6 months, they are entitled to register with territorial labour exchange offices as jobseekers, and the state will provide them with CHI coverage during their job-seeking period.
"It is important to note that those foreign nationals who have a right to temporarily reside in Lithuania and who do not engage in an economic activity are also provided with all required health care services including emergency medical care, but the costs for these services are not reimbursed from the CHIF budget, in other words, they are provided with paid services," said N. Jelenskienė.
Thus the participation of third-country nationals in the Lithuanian CHI system is subject to a residential status (permanent or temporary residence permit), and the validity of CHI coverage is subject to the payment of CHI contributions. A foreign national is considered to be insured for the month for which he/she pays a CHI contribution in the amount specified by law. It is important to remember that a person is entitled to receive medical services, reimbursable medications and medical aids covered from the CHIF budget only if he/she pays CHI contributions on time and in the amount specified by law.
Health care services covered from the CHIF budget are provided to all residents under CHI coverage in those medical institutions that have contracts with territorial health insurance funds (THIF). For more information about health care institutions and their services, visit the websites of (Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys) THIFs. Information on health insurance is also provided by Customer service (usually available in English and Russian )by phone 8 700 88888 (for local calls) or +370 5 236 4114 (for international calls), or by email to email@example.com.
NHIF invites you:
Your questions are welcome by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: local 8 700 88888, international +370 5 236 4114