The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you access to state-provided healthcare during temporary stays (language study vacation, business trips, vacation, etc.) in any of the 27 EU countries, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland, under the same conditions as insured nationals of these countries. The EHIC was introduced on June 1, 2004. The front of the card looks the same and carries the same information, although in different languages, in each Member State to ensure that it is immediately recognized by healthcare providers. The card shows the personal details of each individual and is issued free of charge. Each separate member of a family travelling should have their own card. Please note the European Health Insurance Card is valid for one year.
How does it work?
The EHIC only covers medical treatments and care that your state of health requires in order for you to continue your stay under safe medical conditions. You simply need to show your card to the healthcare practitioner (physician, hospital, etc.) to have your medical expenses covered in accordance with social security legislation and applicable rules in the country of stay. The EHIC is not valid if you are travelling to a participating country for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment. Planned treatments abroad are not covered.
How do I get an EHIC?
You can obtain a card by contacting your local health authority at least two weeks before your departure. No document is required to issue the card. If you leave less than two weeks after having applied for the card, your local health authority can provide you with a provisional replacement certificate which will prove your eligibility. This certificate is valid for three months and can be used until you receive your EHIC card.
Who can apply for an EHIC?
You are eligible for the card if you are a national from:
- a Member State of the European Union;
- Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
Why isn’t always the EHIC enough?
The EHIC is not an alternative to international health insurance. Costs are reimbursed on the basis of rates and legislations applicable in the country where you are staying and each country’s healthcare system is slightly different.
The EHIC only covers costs incurred in public health facilities for medically necessary treatments (it will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs). Please note that in some countries such as UK, you may have to wait a long time to get access to public healthcare.
The card is only valid in European countries and for a one-year period.
Medical assistance and emergency repatriation are not covered.
For more information