Benefits include general and specialist care, hospitalisation, laboratory services, discounted drugs and medicines, basic dental care, maternity care, appliances and transportation (four-fifths of the cost is paid by IKA). The vast majority of the Greek population is covered by the Idrima Kinonikon Asfalisseon (IKA), Greece’s public health scheme, including retired EEA residents (with a residence permit) receiving a state pension.
If you aren’t entitled to public health benefits through payment of Greek social security or being in receipt of a state pension from another EU country, you must usually have private health insurance and must present proof of your insurance when applying for your residence permit. If you’re an EU national of retirement age, who isn’t in receipt of a pension, you may be entitled to public health benefits if you can show that you cannot afford private health insurance.
Anyone who has paid regular social security contributions in another EU country for two full years prior to coming to Greece is entitled to public health cover for a limited period from the date of their last contribution. Social security form E-106 or the European Health Card (EHC) must be obtained from the social security authorities in your home country and be presented to the local provincial office of IKA in Greece. Similarly, pensioners and those in receipt of invalidity benefits must obtain form E-121 or the EHC from their home country’s social security administration. Retirees living in Greece and receiving a state pension from another EU country are entitled to free state health benefits.
You will be registered as a member of IKA and given a social security card, a list of local medical practitioners and hospitals, and general information about services and charges. If you’re receiving an invalidity pension or other social security benefits on the grounds of ill health, you should establish exactly how living in Greece will affect those benefits.
In some countries there are reciprocal agreements regarding invalidity rights, but you must confirm that they apply to you. Citizens of EU countries can make payments in their home country entitling them to use public health services in Greece and other EU countries.
Further information about Greek social security can be obtained from IKA (Tel. 520-055 564, www.ika.gr.en/english).