The European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance CardWhat is the European Health Insurance Card?

It is a free card that entitles you to Medicare in the event of a temporary stay in one of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein,

Norway, and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free of charge in some countries ) of the clients of the country in which you are located.

The benefits covered include, for example, those provided in connection with chronic or existing illnesses, as well as pregnancy and childbirth.

The cards are issued by the national health service of the country of residence.

Important. The European Health Insurance Card:

  • it is not an alternative to travel insurance. does not cover private health care or costs such as those of the return flight to your country of origin or related to lost or stolen goods;
  • not cover costs if you are traveling for the sole purpose of obtaining medical treatment ;
  • does not guarantee free services. Health systems in different countries are different: certain services that are free in one country may not be free in another state.

Attention : if you move your habitual residence to another country,

you must use the S1 form instead of the EHIC card to receive medical assistance in the new country of habitual residence.

Apply for the card

What do you need to do to get a card?

You can obtain the card by contacting your insurance institution, which is therefore responsible for paying the costs of health care.

Who is entitled to the card?

To be eligible for the card, you must have taken out health insurance or be covered by the national health system in a Member State of the European Union or in Iceland,

Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. Each family member who goes abroad must have their own card.

Citizens of non-EU countries who legally reside in the EU and are covered by a national health system can also obtain the card.

However, they cannot use it for medical treatment in Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

How long does the card last?

The duration varies from one country to another: you can find out from a competent insurance institution.

What can you do if the insurance company refuses to issue you the European Health Insurance Card?

At the request of the insured, the institution is obliged to issue the European Health Insurance Card or alternatively a

provisional replacement certificate if the card is not immediately available. If not, you can appeal.

If you are unsure of your rights or need information on how to assert your right to obtain a card, you can contact Your Europe – Advice.

What to do if the card is not recognized abroad?

If the card is not recognized by an administration in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland,

you can ask your insurance institution to contact your doctor or hospital abroad.

If that doesn’t help, you can ask SOLVIT for help.

National information and contacts

Click on a flag to find out how to apply for the European Health Insurance Card in …

How to recognize the card

The card is easily recognizable. The front looks the same and contains the same information, albeit in different languages, in all countries,

while the back varies from country to country. Click on the country you are interested in (below) to view the nationally issued card model.

Scheduled care

You wish to receive health care in another European country at the expense of health insurance. To find out if you are eligible, answer the following 5 questions:

In which country are you insured?

The rules explained here apply if you are registered in a compulsory social security scheme of a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA)

or of Switzerland (excluding treatments without prior authorization in relations with Switzerland).

Where do you plan to apply for health care?

The rules explained here relate to treatment received in a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA)

or in Switzerland (excluding treatment without prior authorization in relations with Switzerland).

Are they unexpected cures? If so, they are covered by the European Health Insurance Card.

If you unexpectedly need treatment while traveling to a member state of the EEA or Switzerland (in the sense that it was not the purpose of the trip),

the European Health Insurance Card guarantees coverage of the related costs. For more information, see the European Health Insurance Card website.

The benefits covered include, for example, those provided in connection with chronic or existing illnesses, as well as pregnancy and childbirth.

Does your health insurance cover the costs of similar treatment in your home country?

In principle, the costs of healthcare are only covered if the legislation of the country where you are insured recognizes the treatment. Spa treatments,

for example, are reimbursed in some countries but not in others. Before going abroad, it is advisable to inquire with your insurance institution.

Is it hospital treatment?

There is currently no European definition of “hospital treatment” or “non-hospital treatment”. If in doubt, ask your insurance company.

When it comes to planned and planned treatments, which are the reason for the trip abroad, a distinction must be made between hospital treatment and non-hospital treatment.

In the case of hospital treatment, prior authorization will almost always be required.

The costs will then be covered according to the rules of the country where the treatment is provided (country of treatment).

If these conditions are less favorable than those offered by your health insurance, the difference will be refunded. In the absence of prior authorization, the costs will not be covered automatically.

It is still possible to request a refund upon return, but there are no guarantees that the request will be accepted.

Even in the case of non-hospital treatment, you can request authorization before departure, so that you can benefit from the same guarantees.

It is also possible to go directly to the country where you wish to receive the treatment (country of treatment), without obtaining prior authorization,

and then ask for reimbursement on return. The costs of the treatment will then be reimbursed according to the legislation of the country of your insurance institution.

Note that this possibility is not recognized in relations with Switzerland.

If you meet these conditions and would like to obtain an S2 form or more information,

please visit the Your Europe site on scheduled medical care or contact your insurance institution.