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Greece, what is the situation with medical insurance if you live there?

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3 Responses to “Greece, what is the situation with medical insurance if you live there?”

  1. Marcus P. Cato said :

    The kind of medical insurance you are entitled to depends on the social security provider to which you subscribe, which in turn depends on your employment status.

    If you’re a salaried employee in a private company, you are entitled to IKA social security. They run clinics of their own which provide basic first-level care i.e. they offer diagnosis and prescriptions, but are unable to hospitalise you. If you are self-employed or work for the government, you can visit (nearly) any doctor you like, and your social security provider will pick up most of the cost. The exact rate of the deduction depends on your provider, but it’s likely to be more than 75%, and it’s absolutely free if you’re a civil servant.

    Most medication which has been prescribed by a physician will be sold at greatly reduced cost if you are insured. Again, the exact discount will depend on your provider and the medicine. Bear in mind that doctors have been instructed to prescribe the cheaper variants of medication. While it is possible to prescribe a treatment that is not in the ‘list’ of approved low-cost medicine, your doctor might be reluctant to do so.

    In all cases, your provider will pick up part of the cost for any hospitalisation costs that are deemed necessary. However, they will generally only cover very basic needs, as determined by them. If you require an attending nurse (and you probably will), a better room (and good luck finding one) or whatever, you are expected to pay extra. Sadly, your hospitalisation costs may also be unexpectedly inflated, as some hospital staff are accustomed to receiving ‘brown envelopes’ before doing their job.

    If you do not have a social security provider, then you will have to pay for any non-emergency treatments out of your own pocket. However, any emergency will be treated by local hospitals or clinics even if you cannot afford to pay for treatment, which -one has to admit- is rather nice.

  2. Gemini7 said :


  3. chr_met said :

    No1 answerer has said it all.


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