The abbreviation EHIC is often mentioned in newspapers, public documents and you may sometimes be requested to provide this document. Here we set out to outline the advantages attached to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) while traveling in other EU countries.
EHIC is a card issued by your national health insurance provider. free of charge. This card provides the holder, during his/her temporary stay in another EU member state, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare under the same conditions and at the same cost (in some countries free of charge) as to people insured in that country.
The coverage of this type of insurance includes benefits provided in conjunction with chronic or existing illnesses, as well as with pregnancy or childbirth.
However, it is important to realize that EHIC is not alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover private healthcare or additional coverages travel insurance may provide, such as a return flight to your home country or for a lost/stolen property.
EHIC also does not cover costs in case you are travelling for the purpose of obtaining medical care in another country. You should also be aware of the fact that EHIC does not always guarantee free services – each country has different types of medical care and something which may be free of charge in your home country, may not necessarily be free of charge in another member country.
In the case you plan to relocate to another EU member state, it is important to register yourself in your new habitual residence and to obtain a EHIC card from this country. For such a registration, you should use the S1 form.
British nationals should be aware of the fact that due to UK´s exit from the EU on December 31, 2020, only those who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement are eligible to obtain a new EHIC card. The existing cards are valid until the date they expire and this date can be found on the front side.
There are many advantages to being a resident of an EU member state, EHIC and its validity when traveling throughout EU states is one example.
Find out more about acquiring residency in an EU member state such as Czech Republic, Austria or Slovakia
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