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A travel essential: the European Health Insurance Card - 17/07/2014

European Health and Insurance Card © iStockphoto

When you're in another EU country, the European Health Insurance Card makes seeing a doctor or going to hospital easier. It can save you time and money. 

While you're in another EU country, the EHIC card gives you access to state-provided healthcare and medical treatment on the same terms as insured residentsof that country. Fees vary between countries, depending on the healthcare system, but the card can cut costs and even get you free healthcare in some places.

The cards, available from individual national health insurance providers, can be used in all 28 European Union countries, plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Be prepared

When travelling with the European Insurance Health Card, remember that:

  • You still need travel insurance. The card does notcover private healthcare, lost or stolen valuables, or costs such as mountain rescue or repatriation.
  • The card does not cover planned medical treatment.
  • Reportedly, there have been cases of intermediaries charging for EHIC applications, but the card is free. 

On the move? Download the app

To help you prepare for travel, a new EHIC app is available in 25 languages from various app stores. It tells you

  • how to use the card in any of the countries concerned and how to obtain reimbursement
  • who to phone/contact if you lose your card.

The app does not generate the EHIC card and is not a replacement for the card itself. 

EHIC storyboard contest

The European Commission is running a contest for video storyboard proposals. The winning idea will be developed and made into a video clip sharing the card’s benefits with European citizens and healthcare providers.

Join in up to 17 August.

What is the European Health Insurance Card?

Press release - more than 200 million EHIC holders


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