The Ministry of the Interior requires that all applications for residence permits, either first-time permits or extensions of existing permits, be accompanied by a letter certifying that the applicant is covered for outpatient medical expenses, hospitalization, medical evacuation/repatriation, and medical care related to accidents for at least one year from the start date of the visa. This mandate is required even if one plans to spend less than a calendar year in Greece.
Requirements for your health insurance letter include the following:
1. The letter must be on insurance company letterhead (not issued by a university or travel agent),
2. It should contain:
a. The name of the insured person
b. The policy number
c. The dates of validity (which should correspond to the period of time one plans to be in Greece and must be for a full year. For example, members who arrive in September 2016 should obtain coverage from September 2016 through September 2017)
d. The $/€ value of the coverage for:
i. Hospitalization (minimum coverage: €10,000/year)
ii. Outpatient care/Medical Expenses (minimum coverage: €1,500/year)
iii. Accidents (minimum coverage: €15,000/year)
iv. Emergency evacuation/repatriation of remains
3. A statement that the coverage is valid in Greece (or “worldwide” or “in the Schengen Zone”).
4. The required coverage for hospitalization (at least €15,000) and for outpatient care (at least €1,500) is relatively low but the authorities stipulate that the insurance company must cover 80% of a bill. The new law (as of December 2014) does not include a deductible requirement but insurance plans requiring patients to pay more than 20% of a bill will not be acceptable.
5. Please request an original, signed letter from your insurance company. The ministry has accepted faxed and scanned letters in the past but has also rejected them at other times. An original, signed letter is always preferred.
This letter will need to be translated into Greek by the authorities in Athens, so you should request that it be brief – the brochure which describes your insurance plan is not acceptable, nor is your insurance card.
If your insurance company letter covers the items in 1-4, it is acceptable. Otherwise it (and your application for a residence permit) will be rejected.
If by September, you are still not able to procure such a document from your insurance company, do not fret. Bring to Athens all documents that your insurance company gave you, especially any letters written on their letterhead. When you arrive in Athens, you should immediately discuss the issue with the Assistant Director, who can guide you in this process before you have to apply for your Residence Permit.
Please contact the Assistant Director if you have any questions.
Last Updated: 25 April 2016.