Cross-border healthcare in EU member states
The EU Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare was adopted on 19 January 2011 and published in the EU’s Official Journal on 9 March 2011. It entered into application on 25 of October 2013.
The Directive clarifies patients’ rights to access safe and good quality treatment across EU borders, and be reimbursed for it. Patients travelling to another EU country for medical care have a rigth to equal treatment with the citizens of the country in which they are treated. If they are entitled to that healthcare at home, then they will be reimbursed by their home country. Their reimbursement will be up to the cost of that treatment at home. In some cases, they may need to seek authorisation before travelling for treatment, in particular if the treatment requires an overnight stay at an hospital or highly specialised and cost-intensive healthcare. Patients will be reimbursed the same amount as they would receive in their own country for the same type of healthcare.
Reimbursement of cross-border healthcare
The Directive covers all healthcare services provided by health professionals to patients to assess, maintain and restore their health, including the prescription and dispensation of medicinal products and medical devices. Not all healthcare is automatically reimbursed. It is important to be aware that the decision on which healthcare is reimbursed, and at what level, is entirely the decision of Member States. In principle, patients are entitled to receive reimbursement for the same or similar healthcare, for the same amount that would have been given had the healthcare been provided in the home Member State.
As a rule, patients who access planned cross-border healthcare under the Directive will have to pay the healthcare provider upfront, and will then be reimbursed by their home Member State.You can claim reimbursement when you return to Lithuania, up to the amount the treatment would have cost in Lithuania. For more information and to ensure you don’t have any difficulties when claiming back your money, contact the Lithuanian territorial health insurance fund before making any arrangements abroad.
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