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Sickness, maternity and paternity

The rules on sickness, maternity and paternity benefits are similar and apply to people insured in any EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Short stays and holidays

You have access to the healthcare, e.g. a doctor or a hospital, for medical care, that may become necessary during a holiday or any other temporary stay in one of these countries, under the same conditions as nationals of that country. This means that sometimes you will have to pay. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will help you prove your rights.
 Learn more on our pages dedicated to the EHIC

Planned healthcare abroad

If you are travelling specifically to receive medical treatment, you need to obtain an authorisation (S2 form) from your health insurance institution before leaving.
Learn more on our pages dedicated to planned medical treatment

Living abroad

  • You have the right to receive sickness benefits in kind, e.g. healthcare and medicines, in your country of residence, regardless of where you are actually insured. You are entitled to exactly the same treatment as nationals of that country.
  • If you are insured in a different country than the one where you reside, you should register with the local healthcare institution of your place of residence. To do so you may need to ask the healthcare institution where you are insured for an S1 form that you will then present to the institution where you live. This is typically the case of pensioners retiring to a different country than the one that pays their pension and where they are insured.  It is not necessary for temporary stays.

Find out about your rights country by country

Cash benefits

The country where you are insured is always responsible for paying your sickness, maternity or paternity benefits in cash, i.e. benefits that replace a wage that has been suspended due to sickness. These benefits will be paid according to the rules of the country where you are insured, regardless of where you are living or staying.

More information

Check our frequently asked questions to find out which rules apply to your situation. 

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