Your guide to health insurance in Lithuania
This short guide offers a summary of the healthcare system in Lithuania for expats residing or traveling in the country. Read on to learn more or click the button below to obtain a no-obligation, free health insurance quote.
Lithuania (or officially the Republic of Lithuania) is a country steeped in history. The country remains extraordinarily rich in folk art, rural festivals, and traditional songs. After the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Lithuania gained its full independence to become the Republic of Lithuania as the world knows today.
The Republic of Lithuania is located in Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Poland. The country has a total area of 65,200 square kilometers. Lithuania shares boundaries with Latvia in the North and North East, Belarus in the South and South East, Poland in the South West, Russia-Kaliningrad in the West, and the Baltic Sea in the North West.
Lithuania's capital city, Vilnius, is located in the southeastern part of the country, and represents one of Europe's most enchanting cities, owing in large part to its Baroque old town. Its landscape consists of castles, lakes, forests, vast plains separated by hills, and sand dunes along the Baltic shore.
The healthcare system in Lithuania
Post-independence, the Republic of Lithuania had found itself inheriting a public healthcare system based on the former Soviet Union model. The model itself was over-centralized, and it offered little choice to patients or respect for patients’ rights.
Since then, the Lithuanian healthcare system has gone through rapid reform. The current healthcare system in Lithuania consists of both the public and private sectors.
The public healthcare system in Lithuania
Free state-funded healthcare is provided to all Lithuanian citizens and registered long-term residents including expatriates.
Compulsory health insurance system
Like numerous other European countries, Lithuania has in place the compulsory health insurance (privalomasis sveikatos draudimas or PSD in Lithuanian) system, which means residents of Lithuania are obliged to obtain health insurance coverage (i.e. pay compulsory state health insurance contributions).
Individuals that have not made contributions to the PSD are not covered and are required to pay (out-of-pocket or with private health insurance) for healthcare expenses arising from treatment.
Employee and employer contributions
The public healthcare system is funded from revenue created through state and social insurance activities as well as by contributions from employers and employees. It is the responsibility of the employers to register all new employees with the health insurance fund when they first start working with the company.
Dependents of workers are covered by the public healthcare system
Dependents of employed family members are covered by the public healthcare system. The unemployed, pensioners, people on long-term sickness benefits, or women who are currently on maternity leave do not have to contribute to the healthcare fund. People who are self-employed are required to make their own contributions towards the healthcare fund.
The primary healthcare system in Lithuania
Compared to other developed countries, Lithuania actually has a high number of physicians in the country - roughly 4.3 per 1,000 population. Doctors are the first point of contact within the Lithuanian healthcare system. Patients can choose to register with any general practitioner (GP) of their choice.
GPs in Lithuania
GPs are responsible for prescribing drugs, treating acute and chronic illnesses, providing preventive care, and promoting health education to the general population of Lithuania.
Healthcare centers in Lithuania provide primarily outpatient care and a wide range of specialist services. Medical services offered by healthcare centers include, but are not limited to, general practice, maternity care, child healthcare, and dental care. Healthcare centers are staffed with qualified doctors and medical professionals.
Healthcare sector challenges in Lithuania
Like in any healthcare system, there are always some issues and dilemmas that affect the flow of healthcare standards and delivery, as follows:
- Corruption is known within the public healthcare system, which makes it rather ineffective at delivering the required services.
- The total job satisfaction of doctors working at primary healthcare in Lithuania is relatively low. The key factors include poor compensation, low social status, and heavy workload, which has resulted in a high turnover of physicians in Lithuania.
- The standard of healthcare in the country is not quite on par with the standard that some foreigners are used to in their home country and the system may require more investment.
- There is an uneven distribution of doctors across the country with fewer GPs available in rural areas.
- The aging health workforce means more people are retiring and leaving vacancies and positions open.
- Net emigration also contributes to fewer health workers within the healthcare sector and puts pressure on existing workers to meet demands.
Private healthcare services in Lithuania
Private healthcare is available in Lithuania, however, due to the higher costs associated with private medical care, only a small group of people can afford treatments in this sector.
People who can afford private healthcare either pay out-of-pocket for healthcare services rendered or they may purchase private medical insurance to take care of the medical costs incurred.
It is also more likely to get medical services in the English language, along with other excellent services, such as state-of-the-art facilities and procedure options.
Health information for travelers to Lithuania
Travelers, expats, and their loved ones should visit the local doctor or travel advisor at least 4 - 6 weeks before traveling. The following vaccinations may be worth considering when discussing with the doctor:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Other routine vaccinations
Secure private health insurance
For peace-of-mind, securing health insurance will ensure medical costs are covered in case of an accident or illness in Lithuania. This will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation in the event of a serious illness or accident.
How to find the best health insurance for expats and travelers
With almost two decades of extensive experience gained from across the globe, Pacific Prime can assist with any health insurance needs in Lithuania. By leveraging our close relationships with major international insurers, we offer professional advice and free plan comparisons to our clients.
No matter what your budget is, or what your requirements are, our professional consultants can match you with a policy that best fits you or your group. Our policies can cover a wide range of services including dental, maternity, specialist consultation, health emergency transportation, inpatient services, and many more aspects.
Expatriates with family members can also secure international cover for the whole family. For international students or travelers in search of international health insurance or travel insurance, Pacific Prime is the go-to insurance intermediary for the best impartial advice and guidance.
Contact us today for a free consultation!