|Copyright © 2004-2017 All rights reserved. Carol Palioudaki Living in Crete www.livingincrete.net
|Living in Crete
Health - National Insurance
EU Reciprocal Health Care AMKA Working & Paying IKA Insurance Self Employed Obtaining an IKA Health Book
IKA EOPYY PEDY
The National Organisation for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY / PEDY ) is Greece’s state-owned
health insurer, providing health cover for IKA and OAEE since March 2012.
Reciprocal IKA Insurance for Health Care for EU Citizens
Electronic Health Cards
The electronic European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides health insurance abroad for visitors
and travellers within the EU. You can apply for a card online at www.ehic.org.uk or at your local post
office in the UK.
When you need to see a doctor or dentist in Greece just go along to a local IKA office (The Social
Insurance Foundation) with your EHIC card to make an appointment. You can see an IKA / EOPYY
registered GP or specialist free of charge, and IKA prescriptions may be issued by them.
Officially the health card is only valid for short term visitors and travellers who are normally resident in
another EU country.
Pensioners who intend to take up residence in Greece and who are entitled to free medical treatment in
the United Kingdom or other EU country, also enjoy a similar entitlement in Greece. They should
produce to their local IKA office form S1 (previously E121) which is issued by their local Department of
Health Office in the United Kingdom, along with the required documents listed below * and they will be
issued with an IKA health book.
A person coming to look for work in Greece, who was unemployed in the UK or other EU country, is
entitled to free medical treatment in Greece if he/she produces to their local IKA office form S1. In the
UK this is also issued by the local Department of Health Office. In both the above cases IKA will
exchange the form for a medical booklet. You will also need to take along the documents listed below *.
Details on Umemployment Benefit for those who have worked and paid IKA contributions in
Those moving permanently to live or work in Crete, who do not fit into any of the above categories, will
NOT be eligible for Greek state health insurance cover. (See changed rules from 2014 NHS http://www.
This works within the EU framework as EU rules state that citizens of an EU county living in another EU
country have the same entitlement as citizens in the country they live. In Greece there is no
automatic entitlement to health insurance for all for its citizens.
Greece has a contributory health insurance scheme which is only available to working people. Any
citizens who do NOT work and pay contributions or do not receive a pension or who are not registered
as unemployed, do not receive free health insurance (although emergency treatment at hospitals for
those uninsured will be covered under a new regulation (see Minister instructs hospitals to treat
uninsured patients Feb 2016).
For citizens of other EU countries you should check your entitlement with the national health
service of your home country.
* Documents required for IKA health book (Βιβλιάριο υγέιας) under the reciprocal agreement
for form Form S1.
- form S1 ( old E121 & E119
- photocopy of passport
- you may also be asked to produce a residence certificate
- tax number
- 2 photographs
- An AMKA number - see below
Check at your local IKA office on arrival in Greece for updates.
The Greek IKA health book is valid for 12 months at a time, between March 1st and February
28th of the following year and should be renewed /validated yearly at an IKA office or KEP
AMKA (Αριθμος Μητρώου Κοινωνικής Ασφάλισης - Social Security Number) is essentially the
Greek unified national insurance number for those living in Greece - employers, employees,
pensioners plus dependant members of their families are required to obtain one.
AMKA replaces the registration number Αριθμό Μητρώου (ΑΜ) previously issued by insurers to the
insured persons and pensioners. The 13 different National Insurance services of Greece (IKA, OAEE,
TAXI, OGA etc) have until now all issued their own AM numbers. AMKA will unify the National
IT IS COMPULSORY TO OBTAIN AN INDIVIDUAL AMKA NUMBER FOR ALL PERSONS REGISTERED
AS LIVING AND LEGALLY WORKING IN GREECE, INCLUDING AN INDIVIDUAL AMKA NUMBER FOR
ALL CHILDREN, OF ALL AGES.
Non-Greek PENSIONERS and their dependants, and others receiving health cover via an S1 also each
require an AMKA number.
According to information given by the AMKA Helpline, those Non-Greek citizens who are not registered
in Greece's social security system are NOT required to obtain AMKA (e.g. those who live in Greece
part time but are still primarily registered in their home country, or those who do not work and pay
contributions in Greece and who have private medical insurance and do not yet qualify for a pension
and health cover in Greece.)
How to get an AMKA number
If you are unsure whether or not you already have an AMKA number you can also try checking online
by filling in the form at www.amka.gr (in Greek only).
There is also an AMKA helpline on telephone number 11131
Don't forget that even if you have an AMKA number yourself, you will still have to apply for a
separate AMKA number for any children and other dependants.
Go to your local KEP office (Citizens Advice) to apply for any AMKA number with the following
documents for each family member:
1)Passport or Greek ID card.
2) Health book
3) "You may require a civil status document - 'πιστοποιητικό οικογενειακής κατάστασης' officially
translated into Greek, where the passport or documents do not contain the required information for the
inventory." This from the AMKA website. Basically the extra information they need is your father and
mother's names. Showing a tax return, for example, with this information should suffice.
4)For dependent children - a copy of the πιστοποιητικού οικογενειακής κατάστασης or birth certificate.
An AMKA number will be issued at the KEP office and a card may subsequently be centrally issued and
sent to your postal address. NB in many cases people have not received the AMKA card - dont worry,
the main thing is that you have a record of your number.
Working And Paying National Insurance (IKA) Contributions
If you are employed in Greece your employer should be making National Insurance contributions for
you, usually IKA, although there are others such as 'TAXI' for hotel employees - the information here is
with regards to IKA as this is the most common.
IKA contributions are expensive (around 30% of your salary) and until fairly recently many employers
have tended to exploit workers by not paying their National Insurance. However the authorities are
keen to stamp out this practice and the majority of employers nowadays go by the book as they are not
prepared to risk hefty fines.
Contributions should be made monthly by an employer. If you are employed full time you will have
around 25 days 'stamps' (contributions, days work) per month. IKA send statements (via your
employer, for you) with your number of days IKA paid per 3 month period, in arrears. Your local IKA
office also has a computer record or your stamps and you can ask for a print-out copy at any time.
Obtaining an IKA Health Book
A minimum of 50 days IKA payments are required to apply for an IKA health book, which entitles you to
free medical care and reduced price prescriptions.
Once you have acquired 50 days 'stamps' you can obtain your IKA health book immediately by taking
along your statements from IKA showing your contributions (or a validation from your employer's
accountant) together with 3 photos and your passport to the IKA office and one should be issued to
you on the spot. The health book is valid yearly from March 1st to February 28th of the following year,
and must be renewed yearly in February. You must have a minimum of 50 days IKA contributions in
each year to renew the health book for the following year.
National Insurance for the self employed - OAEE
Self employed professionals and businesses are require to register with OAEE - Οργανισμός
Ασφαλίσης Ελευθερών Επαγγελμάτων - the Insurance Organisation for Self Employed www.oaee.
Obtaining an OAEE Health Book
Application should be made at the local OAEE office, together with proof of the last 3 months insurance
payments, photographs and your passport or Greek ID card.
Don't fit in any of the above categories?
If you do not fit into any of the categories above, or if you are a non EU citizen and not covered by the
reciprocal agreement, you will need to pay for medical treatment in Greece. It's advisable that you take
out private medical insurance for health cover in Greece.
Seasonal workers and others may wish to opt for extra cover such as medical transportation home in
the event of an illness or accident, or treatment in private medical centres in Crete. There are policies
available for short term medical insurance, as well as yearly policies, with various companies.