How good do you know your insurance plan?


Dear EVS volunteers, we have a great insurance company! Don’t be stubborn or too scared of trying it. At some point you just should go to the doctor, so did I. Here is the story:

Before coming to Madeira I was asking my EVS coordinator what kind of medicine she would recommend to take to the island. Of course, everyone has his personal needs and prescribed medical drugs to take daily, but it doesn’t hurt to ask an experienced person, what if she has some tips? And actually the answer was kind of surprising to me: “Your insurance company is great, don’t worry, they will cover all needed treatment and medicine if something happens to you”.

After more than 6 month of my volunteering here I finally decided to have a first visit in the local health center. My first concern was: I’m not holding a European Health Insurance Card so any visit for me is quite costly and I would think twice or even three times before going to any doctor and pay 50-100€. And it turned out that after middle term training on the way back to Madeira I was visiting my EVS friend in Lisbon, and she said: “Dasha, since I’m volunteering here, I visited doctors 12 or even 13 times. I pay upfront and get my money back within 1-2 weeks.” Imagine how inspiring it was for me to hear that. So after returning back to my volunteering place I went to one doctor, got refunds, went to another one, also got reimbursed. And the last fight I won was my secret dream I have for years – glasses.

It was the most scary adventure for me since I had to pay couple of hundreds euros from my own savings not being 100% sure if the refund will work out. In general the process itself was simple and painless (it is the same algorithm for every claim): visiting an optometrist -> choosing eyeglasses frame -> picking them up from an optometry store together with prescription and paycheck -> scanning documents and uploading them to a personal profile  on Cigna website -> waiting some time for my claim to be received and then processes (it took 8 days to receive ).

This is how processed claims look like (you can either track you personal page to check the status of your claim or wait for the email notifying about changes in status):


I should mention it might take some hours until your claim will be visible on the site. Honestly, I was shitting my pants when I filled the form first time, pressed something like “submit a claim” and… no changes in my profile. It is not happening immediately.

To make sure that this is the case I will be reimbursed, here is a checkup #1:


I didn’t deal with insurance in Ukraine, I barely heard any stories regarding insurance. But one that I remember was my Australian friend who had a lot of struggles with his company, saying that the whole refunding process took him about a month and he had a lot of trouble negotiating with representatives of the company. That makes me positively believe that Erasmus knows with whom to sing a partnership contract, and Cigna is definitely an accurate hit.

P.S. this is what actually inspired me to write this post. Meet The Glasses!



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