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

Free EHIC info application

The European Commission's free smartphone app for AndroidWindows 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.

Where can I use my EHIC?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is accepted only by doctors or hospitals affiliated to the statutory health care system –private health care is not covered. If you use private health care, you may be able to claim reimbursement when you get home – but you should check your rights first, as reimbursement rules can vary.

What does my EHIC not cover?

It is important to know that the European Health Insurance Card:
  • is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property,
  • does not cover your costs if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment,
  • does not guarantee free services. As each country’s healthcare system is different services that cost nothing at home might not be free in another country.

What action can I take if my EHIC is not recognized abroad?

If your EHIC is not recognized by the authorities of any EU country, you can request your home insurer to contact the doctor or hospital abroad.

If this does not solve your problem, you can ask SOLVIT (Solutions to problems with your EU rights) for help.

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