Guidance

Healthcare in Estonia

Healthcare information for UK nationals visiting, living in or moving to Estonia.

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This content was originally published on the NHS website.

Healthcare in Estonia after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national living in Estonia.

You should review your access to healthcare now. There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there is no deal and no agreements with Estonia in place.

For example, if you are a current S1 form holder, or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will not be able to use these to access your healthcare as you do now.

If you’re living in Estonia

You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances and consider:

  • registering to live in Estonia
  • registering for healthcare under the local rules and legislation of Estonia
  • buying comprehensive health insurance while you are applying for residency or if you are not eligible for local schemes

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it is up to date.

If you are already registered to live in Estonia, check that the information held in the Population Register is correct and your ID card is valid.

If you are resident in Estonia and registered with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF), you will continue to be entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals.

S1 certificate holders

Your S1 certificate may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Estonia and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Studying in Estonia after Brexit

Your EHIC may not be valid after exit day if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Estonia and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

If you’re already studying in Estonia before Brexit, the UK will cover your healthcare costs for the duration of your course.

Students starting courses after Brexit should ensure they have comprehensive healthcare cover in place.

After Brexit, you are likely to require a long-term visa for studying. You should contact the Estonian Embassy in London or the Police and Border Guard Board in Estonia to find out more.

Get help paying for medical treatment after Brexit

During the first 6 months after Brexit, if you need medical treatment and you’re being asked to pay for it, the UK can help.

This may be through arrangements with the country you live in, or by paying your healthcare provider directly.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Using NHS services when visiting the UK

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you are living in Estonia and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC.

You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

If you’re living in Estonia before Brexit, you can use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge, when visiting the UK if you:

Returning to the UK permanently

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test you will be able to access NHS care without charge.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)

Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Estonia and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Estonia.

Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need.

If you have any pre-existing health conditions, talk with your insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

UK-issued EHICs will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU. Your EHIC can also be used to access UK-funded treatment if your visit or treatment started before exit day until you return to the UK.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Living or working in Estonia

This information is about healthcare in Estonia before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals living in Estonia after Brexit.

You are entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals if you are a permanent or temporary resident in Estonia and registered with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.

UK posted workers

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Estonia, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you are posted to.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs:

S1 certificate

This information is about healthcare in Estonia before Brexit. Find out about S1 certificates for UK nationals living in Estonia after Brexit.

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

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Estonia. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

It is possible to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

For other exportable benefits, you may need to contact a different team depending on the exportable benefit.

You can find more information under claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

Further information on pensions in Estonia can be found from the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Studying in Estonia

This information is about healthcare in Estonia before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals studying in Estonia after Brexit.

The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas.

Your EHIC is not an alternative to insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

If you are a UK resident and studying in Estonia, your student EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Students who have been granted temporary residence permits are not covered by the EHIF but are required to obtain health insurance for the duration of the residence permit.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad.

For more information about healthcare when living abroad, read the NHS guide on planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

Visiting Estonia

This information is about healthcare in Estonia before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals visiting Estonia after Brexit.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Estonia. The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas.

Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Estonia at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, if you are staying there temporarily.

Make sure you’re treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you won’t be covered for private healthcare with an EHIC. Check that you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF).

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Estonia if you have a pre-existing health condition.

You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, so that you can get the cover you need.

The Money and Pensions Advice Service has information about buying travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel.

Take any documents about your health condition or medicine with you.

If you are travelling to have planned medical treatment, read the NHS guide to seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Healthcare services in Estonia

Finding help in an emergency

If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, call 112. Ambulance transport is free of charge in an emergency.

Dentists

You will have to pay for any medical treatment you receive from a dentist. This is non-refundable.

If a tooth needs to be removed or an abscess needs to be lanced, in emergency cases this is free of charge.

Dental treatment is also free of charge for children under the age of 19.

Visit the EHIF website for more information about dentists in Estonia.

Hospitals

You will have to pay a fee of up to €2.50 per day for up to 10 days of hospitalisation if you are admitted as an inpatient. This is non-refundable.

There is no inpatient fee for:

  • children below the age of 18
  • healthcare related to pregnancy and childbirth
  • intensive care

Visit the EHIF website for more information about specialised medical care.

Prescriptions

You will be charged a standard fee. Sometimes you will also have to pay a percentage of the costs above the standard fee. You will pay a minimum of €2.50. For detailed information about prescription medicines, including discount rates, visit the EHIF website.

If the medicine you have been prescribed is not on the national list of medicinal products, you will have to pay the full costs. This is not refundable.

In Estonia some medicines that are available over the counter in the UK, such as aspirin and various ointments, are only available in pharmacies.

Bringing your own medicines to Estonia

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that additional legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

See more information on travelling with controlled medicines.

Published 23 September 2019