What is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)? How do you get it?


The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a free personal and nontransferable document which recognizes your right to receive health benefits that are considered medically necessary during a temporary stay in an area belonging to the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom (while the health insurance card is valid), or Switzerland. The card takes into account the nature of the benefits and the expected duration of the visit, in accordance with the legislation of the host country, independent of whether the purpose of the stay is tourism, professional activity, or academics.

The EHIC is not valid when then the purpose of the visit is to receive medical treatment, or if the beneficiary transfers their residency to another member state.

  • Covered by the EHIC:
    • Urgent health care. Emergencies, both for accidents and for common or unexpected illnesses.
    • The worsening of a chronic illness.
    • Pregnancy. This includes assistance with the delivery of the child and all the necessary treatments for its care.
  • Not covered by the EHIC:
    • Return to your country of origin while remaining hospitalized.
    • Private health services.
    • Traveling with the purpose of receiving medical treatment.

In some cases, you must take on a fixed amount or percentage of the costs from the medical assistance, under the same conditions as those insured in that country. These costs are nonrefundable.

Who can request an EHIC?

Those who hold the right to medical assistance and their dependent beneficiaries who meet the requirements of the legislation of each state and of the social security regulations of the European Union.

How can I request an EHIC?

To request an EHIC you must turn to the health insurance organization you are insured by, which will be responsible for the cost of your healthcare. Depending on your state you should be able to request the card online, over the phone, or in person at said organization. If you wish to renew your card, the process will be similar.

More information https://ec.europa.eu