My husband is a German citizen who lived in Japan for 16 years before our marriage. He is now a resident of the US on a green card (2 years now). We are moving to Greece in the near future and have questions regarding health insurance. We are both covered under my US employer currently. I am a US citizen. I know that I will have to purchase health insurance privately. As an EU citizen (who hasn't lived there or paid into their social benefits program for the last 18 years) what are my husband's options for health insurance? Will he be eligible for the social health care programs in Greece?

We will both be self employed initially and paying taxes to the US.

  • What will his (and your) status be in Greece? Worker? Retiree? Something else?
    – Gala
    Oct 1, 2014 at 21:24
  • Hi Gala. We will both be self-employed initially.
    – Evie
    Oct 1, 2014 at 21:27
  • You should probably edit your question to add this info. Generally speaking, for economically active people in the EU, nationality does not matter and having been a resident or paid contributions before does not matter much either (I am not aware of any EU country with anything like the pre-existing conditions exclusions that were the rule in the US until recently). So he should basically be treated like a Greek citizen in the same situation and if there is some statutory health insurance for self-employed people, it should be available to him.
    – Gala
    Oct 1, 2014 at 21:45
  • 1
    That said, I have no idea what this means in practice in Greece for self-employed people (mandatory health insurance? private or public?). The EU Commission publishes descriptions of the social security system in each country, including Greece but it's only a high-level overview and the Greek system sounds complicated. See also europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/when-living-abroad/…
    – Gala
    Oct 1, 2014 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


First of all sorry for my poor english :) If you want to establish a sole proprietorship in Greece one of the required actions is to register with the appropriate social security department which in this case (for self employed people) is called OAEE. After that and as long as you are consistent with your insurance contributions you have all the benefits for social health care. The establishment of a sole proprietorship in Greece is a little bit COMPLICATED -be patient! :) - for bureaucratic reasons. You will need the help of an accountant. Look here http://www.atskakanis.com/wp/?p=336 for some more infos.
VERY IMPORTANT! The ragistration with OAEE and the payment of the insurance contributions is mandatory. Of course the same time you can be registered with a private insurance company if you want. Dont forget to ask if you are entitled for any subsidies. There are some european finance programs for self employed people who establish a NEW company or shop for which and under some conditions you may be eligible. Good luck from Greece!

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