European Health Insurance Card
According to the European Commission’s latest figures, over 190 million people hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), allowing them to get emergency healthcare and so enjoy worry-free holidays when travelling within the European Union, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
The number of EHIC holders has been steadily increasing, with 15 million more citizens carrying an EHIC in 2012 compared to the previous year.
The EHIC confirms that a person is entitled to receive emergency treatment in the host country’s public healthcare system on the same terms and at the same cost as nationals of that country.
The card is issued for free by the national health insurance provider in the home country and cannot be used to cover planned treatment in another country.
Hospitals that provide public health services are obliged to recognise the EHIC. In the vast majority of cases, patients presenting the EHIC receive the necessary healthcare and are reimbursed without any problems.
In case the EHIC is not accepted, patients should contact the relevant health authority in the country they are visiting.
The emergency contact numbers are easily accessible via the [ http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559 ]EHIC application for smartphones and tablets.
The EHIC application gives also information about the card, treatments that are covered and costs, how to claim reimbursement and who to contact in case you have lost your card.
The app covers 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It is available in 24 languages, with the option to switch from one language to another.
The app does not replace the EHIC.
Find out more: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=509&langId=en