Lithuania may not be the first European destination to spring to mind when planning a holiday or short break. However, it’s well worth considering adding it to your ‘must-see’ locations, especially if you like exploring the road less travelled and stepping back into the past.
This guide outlines reasons to visit Lithuania. It also explains the importance of first obtaining a Lithuania UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). We will show you how to make a Lithuania GHIC Application as well as how to use your card on this trip and on future holidays and business trips.
What is a Lithuania UK GHIC Card?
Before we explain some of the delights of lovely Lithuania, what do we mean by a ‘GHIC card’?
Previously, UK travellers could use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access free or reduced-cost health services on the Continent. When Britain left the EU, this card was replaced by a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) like Slovakia GHIC card. This new card is based on a similar reciprocal agreement between the NHS and other state-funded health bodies.
So, if you make a successful Lithuania GHIC Application, you get a card to use on this trip, which is also valid in the other countries. At present, that extends solely to countries within the European Union. However, it may become truly ‘global’ over time, as other countries such as Australia may get involved with the agreement.
Why you need a Lithuania GHIC Card, and why go there at all?
Lithuania is a small country nestled on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It is considered a safe place for European holidays and provides travellers with a wonderful array of unspoilt lakes, beaches, and national parks. One of the most appealing places to visit is Aukštaitija National Park, which has a patchwork of 126 lakes! The Trakai Historical National Park is also a fabulous experience.
Just like its glorious rural areas, the country’s capital – Vilnius – is relatively untouched by commercialism. You can wander for hours to see the medieval architecture, colourful baroque houses and Lithuanian heritage. The cities of Kaunas and Klaipeda are also an unforgettable step into the past for holidaymakers and try to include a visit to the deeply moving Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai.
Wherever you travel in this culturally rich country – and whether it is by lake pedal boat or tourist coach – there is always a chance you may suffer an injury or accident. Or, an illness may occur that demands a visit to a doctor. It’s at times like this when you will need your Lithuania UK GHIC Card!
The alternative is being at the mercy of local pricing policies for healthcare in Lithuania. What started out as an adventure in this refreshingly unsophisticated, timeless European country, could end up being a very expensive trip!
How to use a Lithuania UK Global Health Insurance Card
If you are taken ill or suffer an injury during your stay (or when passing through this country) the way to use your Lithuania UK GHIC Card is reasonably straight forward.
(Keep in mind that this information is subject to change and you should check the latest GHIC information before you travel.)
Wherever you are in Lithuania, you need to find doctors or hospitals contracted to the territorial health insurance fund for that area. If you show them your Lithuania GHIC and passport, your treatment will be free of charge.
Your card will not cover the costs of any private healthcare you access on your visit to Lithuania. Nor will it provide free treatments if you choose to go there for a procedure or therapy instead of using the NHS.
Another word of caution when using a Lithuania GHIC card or Slovenia GHIC card. If you go to a Lithuanian hospital for non-urgent treatment, without a GP referral, they may provide healthcare services and then give you a non-refundable bill! However, if you go as an emergency case, show your Lithuania GHIC and you will be covered.
Ambulance transport is free and prescription costs are subsidised.
It may be possible to arrange unavoidable treatments for pre-existing conditions – such as dialysis – free of charge with your Lithuania UK GHIC Card. Speak to your own GP and arrange this before you travel.
Also, to clarify anything, you could contact the National Health Insurance Fund for Lithuania – or Valstybinė ligonių Kasa (VLK).
The Lithuania GHIC Application process
The next question could well be, how do I get a Lithuania Health Insurance Card to access this free treatment during my stay?
Many applicants enjoy the convenience and support of a specialist to apply for a Lithuania GHIC Card or Spain GHIC card. To do this, you will need to prove that you are a UK citizen, and will also have to validate your identity.
Your Lithuania Health Insurance Card will only cover you! If your trip includes your partner and children, they will all need their own Lithuania GHIC. However, you can apply on their behalf as long as you have evidence that they are UK nationals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I lose my Lithuania UK Global Health Insurance Card?
If your card is lost, stolen, destroyed or even left at home, don’t panic! Though you do need to show it to get free health services in Lithuania, there is a way of getting a temporary Lithuania GHIC Card.
You do this by contacting NHS Overseas Healthcare Services, by ringing +44 (0)191 218 1999. (Monday to Friday, 8 am-6 pm only). They will email or fax a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). You must have your National Insurance Number for reference, and you must have completed your application for a Lithuania GHIC before you left the UK.
Do I need a Lithuania GHIC if I have an EHIC already?
You can continue to use your EHIC card until it expires. After that, you need to make a new application and you will be issued with a GHIC.
Does my Lithuania GHIC card cover me if I go to other countries on my trip?
Travellers often combine a visit to Lithuania with other European destinations. If your holiday takes you to other nations within the EU, you can use your card to access free or subsidised health services in those countries too. Each country has its own rules and systems though.