International students studying in Estonia are not covered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa), unless they are employed in Estonia or have the right of permanent residence or a long-term residence permit. Thus you need to ensure that you have some other health insurance for your period of study in Estonia.
If you are an EU citizen and have valid health insurance in your home country during your studies in Estonia, you can apply for the EU health insurance card (EHIC) or substitute certificate of an EU health insurance card (form E128). You should apply for that from the social service authorities in your home country before arriving in Estonia.
NB! EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property.The required medical care is not free – the expenses (visit, hospital charges, etc.) must be paid for according to the tariffs set in Estonia. For receiving the compensation, if applicable, an application must be submitted to respective national contact point in the country where the person is insured.
More information about what is covered with EHIC in Estonia can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/home.jsp?langId=en > Healthcare Abroad > Medical Treatment Abroad > Estonia.
To be eligible for an EHIC, you must be insured by or covered by a state social security system in any member state of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
NB! EU and EEA students studying in Estonia for a degree are not covered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, unless they are employed in Estonia or have the right of permanent residence, so they can obtain the EHIC only if they are covered by the social security system of their home country.
If you cannot get the EHIC for the reasons described above, please check if any of the private health insurances listed below meets your expectations/needs. You should not be without any health insurance!
Non-EU students and EU students who cannot have the EU health insurance card should purchase private insurance from an insurance company. There is a strict policy in Estonia regarding health insurance coverage during the residence permit and there are limited number of insurance companies suitable for the residence permit.NB! As of April 1, temporary residence permit is issued for the whole nominal period of studies (bachelor level students have it for three years, master level students for two and etc). This means that student needs health insurance coverage for the whole period of studies. However, one can still purchase insurance for a year and extend it on time to guarantee continuous medical coverage.
Most often, international students in Estonia choose one of the following insurance companies:
KindlustusEst - insurance broker who can help with finding suitable insurance. It is possible to compare the prices of different insurance (SwissCare and Ergo) providers on their website and sign the contract online. No additional fees are charged from students.
Whichever insurance you are using, be prepared to cover your medical costs yourself first. If you have to pay for medical services, keep all the cost documents and apply for refund from your insurance provider according to the provider’s procedures. If the costs are eligible under your insurance policy, the provider will make the refund.