What is the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC ?

The European Health Insurance Card allows you to be covered for medical expenses in any of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom under the same conditions and at the same rate (free of charge in some countries) as people insured in that country. The EHIC is free of charge and remains valid for 2 years.

The cards are issued by the health insurance services in your country.

For more information: website of the Assurance Maladie.

How does the European Health Insurance Card work?

The EHIC covers medical care and treatment necessitated by your state of health. All you have to do is present it to a public health professional (doctor, hospital, etc.) and your medical expenses will be covered in accordance with the social security rules and legislation of your country of expatriation. However, if you are travelling specifically to a Member State for the sole purpose of receiving medical treatment, your EHIC will not be accepted: planned treatments are not covered abroad.

How to obtain your EHIC?

Contact your health insurance fund to apply for one at least two weeks before your departure. No documents are required to obtain the card. If you leave less than two weeks after applying for your card, your health insurance fund can give you a provisional certificate of coverage attesting to your rights. This certificate is valid for three months and can be used until you receive your EHIC card.

What are the limitations of the European Health Insurance Card?

  • It does not replace travel insurance. It does not cover private health care or costs such as a flight back to your home country or loss or theft of property,
  • It does not cover the costs of medical treatment you have planned in another EU country,
  • Does not guarantee free services. As health care systems differ from country to country, some services provided free of charge in your country may not be available elsewhere.

The European Health Insurance Card does not replace international health insurance. Expenses are reimbursed on the basis of the rates and legislation in force in the country of expatriation. As health systems are not the same from one country to another, it is strongly recommended that you take out international health insurance for peace of mind.


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