How and where can I use my European Health Insurance Card?

Modified on Wed, 31 May 2023 at 10:52 AM

The European Commission's free smartphone app for Android, Windows and iPhone gives useful country-by-country info on where to get treated and costs, plus contact details for if you lose your card. Once it's downloaded, it keeps the info on your phone, so you can access it offline. Hopefully you won't need it, but it could be handy in a holiday emergency.

Here are some key points about the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when traveling within the European Union (EU):

  • The EHIC is accepted by doctors and hospitals affiliated with the public healthcare system in each country.
  • It does not cover private healthcare services.
  • If you use private healthcare abroad, you may be eligible for reimbursement, but the rules vary by country.
  • The EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance and does not cover private healthcare, return flights, or lost/stolen belongings.
  • It does not cover costs if you travel specifically for medical treatment.
  • Free healthcare services in your home country may not be free in another EU country.

If your EHIC is not recognized, you can contact your home insurer or seek assistance from SOLVIT, a service that helps with EU rights-related issues.

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