Costs for diagnosis of and treatment of COVID-19 for uninsured people will be covered by the Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) for from mid-July as a measure to limit potential future coronavirus spread, the Ministry of Social Affairs said on Wednesday.
It is thought there are approximately 66,000 uninsured people in Estonia, which is about 5 percent of the population, the ministry said in a statement. During the height of the pandemic, their treatment was covered from the state budget allocation.
Services covered include diagnostic tests for a person suspected of being infected with COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, treatment of COVID-19, and related healthcare.
Social affairs minister Tanel Kiik said: "Funding the treatment of COVID-19 from the EHIF's budget, even for uninsured people, helps to ensure that an individual gets to see a doctor and receives help as soon as he or she falls ill, or comes into contact with a person suspected of being infected.
"We can react to any possible case of COVID-19 immediately and effectively only if we provide everyone Estonia with the necessary assistance, including the opportunity to see the nearest family doctor center if [coronavirus] infection is suspected."
Between January and mid-May this year, treatment bills amounting to €18,268 were issued for 276 uninsured people who had either suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 infections.
The amendment to pay for uninsured people's treatment was approved at a meeting involving the health fund's supervisory board on May 22 and is scheduled to enter into force on July 17.
Editor: Andrew Whyte