With its stunning scenery, magical medieval cities and modern fusion cuisine, Estonia is a must-see destination for UK travellers. This small but perfectly formed country is one of the continents most captivating destinations. And with a diverse range of attractions available throughout the year, there is something here for everyone.
Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this magical city is bursting with ancient churches, medieval market squares and beautiful merchant townhouses. Align this with modern fusion cuisine, exceptional shopping and world-class hotels and you have a destination like no other.
Many travellers only come to Estonia to see Tallinn, but there is much to do in this stunning country than that. The adventurous among you may want to explore the abandoned submarine base in Hara, while outdoor lovers can explore the ancient Rosma forest and wildlife that surround the city.
But as with any country in Europe, UK travellers to Estonia will need to ensure they have access to affordable healthcare before they set off.
Estonia UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
The most cost-effective way of obtaining affordable healthcare in Estonia is to apply for an Estonia UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This replaces the European Health Insurance Card for UK travellers and ensures that visitors can obtain healthcare services at a reduced cost while visiting Estonia.
Without a valid card like Estonia UK GHIC card or Romania GHIC card, UK visitors will be charged the full rate for any healthcare services provided in the country. For even the simplest procedure, this could run to several hundred euros. Should more intensive healthcare services be required, such as treatment for a heart attack, the bill could run to several thousand euros.
So it’s wise to ensure you have a valid Estonia UK GHIC card before visiting the country. Even if you have an up to date travel insurance policy, it still makes sense to obtain a GHIC card because you may be entitled to a reduction of the excess. Some insurers also waive the excess for GHIC cardholders entirely. Check your policy for details.
What services does a GHIC card cover in Estonia?
The GHIC essentially serves as an Estonia health insurance card and entitles you to receive state-backed healthcare at the same price paid by locals. Healthcare in Estonia is very competitively priced compared to other European countries, so travellers on a budget visiting the country shouldn’t need any other health coverage.
Healthcare costs in Estonia
Healthcare in Estonia is provided by the Estonia Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). This provides basic healthcare services such as GP appointments FREE of charge. But most services will incur a small fee.
The following is a guide to healthcare costs in Estonia:
Hospital appointments: up to €25
Specialist doctor appointments: up to €5
Dental appointments: up to €5
GP home visits: up to €5
Prescription medicines: €2.50
Standard GP appointments are FREE to visitors who hold an Estonia Health Insurance card unless a home visit is required.
Using your GHIC card in Estonia
Travellers requiring healthcare services while visiting Estonia should present their GHIC card to healthcare staff at the earliest opportunity. Failure to present your card will result in the full fee being charged for any healthcare services. You cannot apply for a rebate later, so travellers should ensure they carry their GHIC card with them at all times.
If your card is lost or stolen while visiting Estonia, you can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). This can be obtained from the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA). Call the National helpline on 44 (0) 191 218 1999, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
Estonia GHIC application
The Estonia GHIC and Slovakia GHIC card application process is easy. You just need to complete the application form here. We only need a few basic details and we’ll process your order almost immediately. And unlike traditional travel insurance providers, we don’t need to know about any preexisting health conditions.
Estonia GHIC card FAQ
What healthcare services does a GHIC card cover?
Your GHIC card entitles you to receive local state healthcare including emergency treatment at a reduced cost. In Estonia, some state healthcare services such as GP appointments are FREE of charge. But you will have to contribute to other healthcare costs including prescriptions, doctor appointments and hospital visits.
Your GHIC card does not cover the cost of private healthcare treatments, mountain rescue or repatriation services. If you are likely to require any of these services you should ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy to complement your Estonia GHIC card.
What is the difference between an EHIC and GHIC card?
Essentially a GHIC card like Slovenia GHIC card provides the same healthcare coverage as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). They both entitle the holder to receive treatment at state-run hospitals and GP surgeries at a reduced cost. In most cases, this is the same cost that residents have to pay.
The only difference is that the EHIC covers all 27 EU countries, along with Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland. The GHIC card only provides cover in the base EU 27. Hopefully, this will change in the future as more countries are added. But for now, this is the only difference between the two cards.
Do I still need travel insurance with a GHIC card?
Not necessarily, It depends on your age, existing health conditions and what activities you intend to carry out. But it is important to understand that while GHIC has insurance in the name, it is not a replacement for travel insurance. It does not cover the entire cost of your healthcare and will not protect you if your holiday is cancelled.
For this reason, it may be wise to obtain comprehensive travel insurance along with your GHIC card. This will also provide protection against lost or stolen luggage, last-minute cancellations and much more. Additionally, many insurance companies will waive the excess on medical claims if you have a valid GHIC. So it is wise to carry both.