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Applying for a card

How do you obtain a card?

You obtain a card by contacting a health insurance institution where you live as each individual country is responsible for producing and distributing the card in its own territory.

Who can benefit from the card?

To be eligible for a card, you must be insured by or covered by a state social security system in any Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Each separate member of a family travelling should have their own card.

People from non-EU countries who are legally residing in the EU and are covered by a state social security scheme are also eligible for a card. However, nationals from non-EU countries cannot use their EHIC for medical treatment in Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

How long is the card valid for?

This varies from one country to another and is best to check when you contact your local health authority to obtain the card.

What action can you take if your local authority refuses to give you a European Health Insurance Card?

If you ask for the European Health Insurance Card, your local authority is obliged to provide you with one or, failing that, with a provisional replacement certificate if the card is not immediately available. If they do not, you should be able to appeal.

If you are unsure about your rights or need information on how to ensure that your right to an EHIC is respected by your national authorities, you can contact Your Europe Advice.

What action can you take if your EHIC is not recognised abroad?

If your EHIC is not recognised by the authorities of any EU country – or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – you can request your home insurer to contact the doctor or hospital abroad.

If this does not solve your problem, you can ask SOLVIT for help.

National information and contacts

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

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