Health and Protection in Greece


Generally speaking, citizens of this country and those coming from European Union member states are covered by the National Health System (ESY) which aims at providing subsidised and free access to quality health services. Expatriates working in Greece (from non-EU nations) who pay regular contributions to the social security may also be entitled to discounted or full medical benefits. However, it is still strongly advised for foreign assignees to take out private health insurance, regardless if they are covered by the Greek public health care system or not, to ensure that they have a reliable company that can insure large medical bills or other emergency situations that can not be covered by the local government. 

Getting Protection 

First and foremost, expatriates should confirm first if they have medical coverage from their employer by calling the Human Resource department of their company. However, it is worth noting that some company provided health insurance doesn’t cover the employee’s dependent that’s why expats relocating to Greece, particularly those with family members, decide to buy private insurance products. 

Private health insurance is famous among the people of Greece but before deciding to commit to a company, it is best for expats to check first with the Bank of Greece which is the supervisory authority of the Greek private insurance sector. There are numerous local international insurers in this country but some of the most trusted are BUPA International and AXA PPP International. The process of signing up for these insurance companies is straight forward. Expats can simply call or send an email but it is always best to set up a personal appointment to be able to clarify significant information such as the scope of the coverage and the process of making claims. 

Importance of Insurance 

Housing, mode of transportation, food and education are mostly the top items on every expatriate’s ‘urgent needs list’ when relocating abroad. Though these are certainly important, one must not take for granted the significance of having insurance. Being caught in an emergency situation when living or working abroad will not just put your health at risk but will also jeopardise your finances. 

Health insurance products are not just limited to medications or emergency treatments. Some policies include coverage for vaccinations, annual physical exams, eye and dental as well as fitness consultations. On top of health insurance products, expats who will drive in Greece should also know that by law, it is mandatory for all cars to be covered by third-party liability insurance. The Third Party insurance is obligatory for all drivers and vehicles. It insures the civil liability of the car owner to material damage to a third-party resulting to an accident. 

Local Insurance 

Generally speaking, Greece has a fairly good standard of healthcare system that is divided into two: the public and the private sector. This country’s public healthcare scheme provides low cost or even free healthcare services to all citizens and foreign nationals that contribute to the social security system. Expats from EU member states are entitled to the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC which simplifies the procedure when receiving medical and health assistance during the members’ stay in Greece. The EHIC entitles its holder to the same treatments at the same cost as a Greek citizen. 

Aside from the state-funded healthcare system, expats also have the option to take out private policies from local insurers. There are numerous national companies that are currently operating in Greece and some of the most trusted names in the business are Ethniki Asfalistiki, La Vie Assurance and Alico AIGlife.


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International Health Insurance

Expat Insurance Services in Greece