I'm looking into retiring in Greece for my mother who lives in the UK.
I have already found out a lot from the UK government and the NHS websites.

The main issue for my mum is health care as she is not getting any younger. All the websites I have visited promote additional health care insurance schemes, claiming they help speed up queuing at hospitals and clinics and provide access to best doctors with better equipment, as well as covering extra costs for dental, glasses and specialist consultations.

Can anyone offer any advice? Is it really necessary to take out extra cover and if so, which ones are the best for Greece?

I am Louise and my mum is Kathleen

we would be very grateful for any help! :)
Hi Tarmac,

Welcome on board !

hopefully members will be able to shed the light on your queries.

Thanks Bhavna

I hope so too :)

Hello Louise,

I hope you are well.

Just saw you post:

There are plenty of choices for health care in Greece for every age and they are very cheap, especially if you compare the price with other countries.

How old is your mom?

I can provide full details if you want because I work as a consultant in Risk Management and insurable risk is also part of my job.

Take care,


@Lekkas Hello Nick:

Your answer to this question would be of interest to me as well.

We are looking for health insurance while in Greece.

We would require insurance for 4 months next year and then for 6 months per year afterwards.

Currently the ages are 62 (male) and 61 (female).

@gemmeroni I dont think any private health care on the planet is cheap unfortunately but in Greece you need to look on line at the various companies offering cover,what they cover,there will be lots of different "deals" lets say depending how much cover you want,what you want covered according to your finances,get some quotes and decide,research the company well.My husband is covered by his job with Generali,General,they used to use a different one,shop around.I have used his work insurance as Im covered as well under his scheme,I have probably had 30,000 worth of serious surgery so they do pay up,sometimes the hospital and surgeon have to wait for the money for a while.


Hello Lekkas

thank you for your post. I am very interested

Could you contact me privately ([link moderated]) to discuss your company's offers in more detail?

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Hello Louise,

Kindly note that for security reasons, email addresses should not be shared on the forum.

You can share your email address in private with Lekkas if you would like1f609.svg


Yoginee team

@Yoginee Hello Yoginee. How does one share an email address in private?

@Yoginee Hello Yoginee. How does one share an email address in private?

Click on the picture/name of the person you wish to send a PM to and it opens a new page where you can send the message.


Expat Team


Thank you!


Hello gemmeroni, I have sent you a private message.

Please feel free to ask me anything you need to know.


@tarmac Greece in not the UK. The Gr.public Hcare system has apparently deteriorated a lot from what it was and is not a place you would choose to go if you could avoid it. it is presently geared for those that rely on government support and I am pretty sure you and yours do not qualify anymore as a result of Brexit. In any case there are long waits and then the quality of care depends on luck of the draw.

What you have to do is buy private HC insurance to get quality care in a hospital of your choice. The quality ranges from poor to excellent depending on your ability to pay. I am a retired American of Greek descent living here for the last 8 years and have private HC for the same reasons. Greeks who can afford it, do the same. You need to contact an agent than will design a package for your needs that you will then pay for as the contract defines. If you need an agent, I have used two and can give you their info if you are interested.

@nixterman You are correct in what you say.Most of the pre-op private clinic tests,scans etc are doable from ones own pocket if one does not have private cover but private surgery you will need a package plan and that depends obviously on your finances.You could be picked up by helicopter to the hospital if you can afford it,the surgeon must be paid,the hospital bed,the drugs,the anesthetist,if you need IC unit then a separate charge is added.But it feels so good,that piece of mind that you get when you know that at the drop of a hat,like later in the day you will be admitted to a private hospital and taken good care of.There was one I went into,a big posh expensive one,well known,but the staff were run off their feet,not enough staff and they only came in to do blood pressure and some days I never saw any staff until the evening,I could actually have been dead all day in the bed so always go for the smaller hospitals/clinics with a higher ratio of staff to patients.

I have to agree fully with the last posts. Btw, a small hospitalisation could be around 5k, a middle one 10-50 k and a big one could easily be more than 100.000 €. For example in a case of a stroke that needed ICU, the bill was 202.500 €. A simple hernia is around 5.000-7.000€ whereas a difficult case of hernia could easily reach 15.000 €.

@Lekkas It has become a little difficult for surgeons to get their money from private health companies,I had bunions fixed separately and my surgeon was still waiting for his money a year later which was rather embarrassing but sometimes the hospital is given all the money from the company but hang on to it as long as possible before they pass on to the surgeon his or her share.One surgeon told me that he will now only take cash as he refuses to wait so long for his money,fair enough isnt it.He told me...Ive done some diversions to your anatomy,like a blood supply vessel to your stomach,if they cut it by mistake you will die..that was not a happy feeling,I went to the church and prayed for help,he wants cash and I dont have any.banks wont lend,as I came out of the church door my phone went off,it was my husband....the surgeon has called to say he feels sorry and will do it and wait for his money...a miracle,after one week the gall bladder was out and I woke up to the stones in a jar next to my bed...yuk.. too much fatty pizza I guess,.the story doesnt end here,after one month I noticed a bulge near the cut,bit strange,bit worried,had it scanned....HERNIA!!  more extreme worry,luckily he operated again and waited for his money,this was all open surgey which gives to much pain on recovery but after one laporoscopy surgery you get adhesions and its too dangerous  to go through that flesh,you can bleed to death.Honestly you never know whats coming your way in terms of needing money and so private medical cover if you can afford it is essential,its a priority for your life and things happen health wise to fairly young people as well,knees are often playing up to people in their thirties and need surgery.


Hello Concertina,

i just saw your answer.

I am so sorry for all of your trouble, I hope you are well now.

Insurance companies usually pay very fast here in Greece but sometimes the hospitals keep the money and pay the doctors later. This is something that was common practice some years ago but now has changed and hospitals pay faster. Still though, there might be some occasions that this doesn't apply.

The solution for this is very simple, you put your insurance agent/broker to make the appropriate paperwork so that the insurance company pays the doctor and not the hospital (which then has to pay the doctors). Of course the hospital will get paid in this way but only for it's own costs, not the doctors fees.

This is one of the many reasons you must choose you agent very carefully. Not all agents are experts in all/some insurance branches/fields.

Hi,thankyou for your reply,No the company pays the hospital,the surgeons have a deal with the private hospital where they use all the facilities for their private work and as such must abide and kneel to that clinic,they scratch each others backs,need each other,the clinic/hospital is the surgeons boss,end of story.It happens more and more frequently that surgeons wait too long for their money,probably due to the clinic holding it for too long.I speak to many private doctors who say this so its an on-going problem which spoils the set-up.Ones insurance company makes the rules NOT the customer,you cannot tell them or get them to do anything as they can be somewhat Gestapo.So one goes with the flow.