Do you think you need to apply for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), and are not sure how you are supposed to go about doing that?
Are you not sure when the EHIC is needed and when it is not, or what it will make you eligible for when you get it?
If so, here are a few things you need to know about easily applying for an EHIC online, and when you need to get one.
When is the EHIC needed? — You only need to have an EHIC if you plan on traveling outside the country you currently reside in, and the country you will visit is another EU or EEA country of Switzerland.
That is because the EHIC is the card you use to access health insurance outside your own country.
Do you always need to apply for an EHIC when traveling? — No, once the EHIC has been issued, it is usually valid for several years.
You also may not need to apply for one at all. Not if your country’s medical E-card has your EHIC information printed on its back. If it does, you can use that E-card as your EHIC when you are abroad. If it does not, you will have to apply to your local medical insurance authorities to get a new E-card that includes that information.
How to easily apply for an EHIC — There are generally three ways you can apply for an EHIC if you need to, depending on the country you currently reside in.
The first of these is to apply for the EHIC via the website of the health insurance authorities in your country. This will often only take a few minutes, and your card will then arrive in the mail a week or 10 days later.
The second is to visit the offices of the health insurance authorities in your country. They will process your application for a new EHIC, and will then mail the card to you usually within 10 days.
Finally, if you cannot do the other two, or feel a little confused, there are several online companies that can do this for you. They are not always recommended, however, as they do charge a fee for a card that is actually free.
If you feel unsure about applying for the EHIC yourself, however, one of these services can be helpful.
What kind of medical care does the EHIC allow you to get? — In most cases, you will be able to get the same medical care you would get with your normal E-card in your country of residence.
In other words, if your home country does not pay for that specific healthcare, you will have to reimburse them for the cost of it when you get home. If they do, you will usually be covered for any medical care you access out of your own country. If in doubt, check with your country’s healthcare service before traveling.
Once you have an EHIC, EHIC renewal is also quite straight forward. Click the link for more information.