The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a free card issued by national health insurance providers that allows individuals to access essential, state-provided healthcare while visiting any of the 27 EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, under the same conditions and at the same cost as local residents.
The EHIC covers a wide variety of medical benefits, including coverage for medically essential treatments connected to chronic or pre-existing diseases, pregnancy, and delivery.
How do you apply? You can apply online, in person at your local health department, or by mail.
If you have a medical card or a drug payment plan card and live in Ireland, you may apply online.
In person at your local health department.
Fill out the European Health Insurance Card application form.
Fill out the form and return it to your local health office.
If you are unable to download the form, an application can be obtained at your local health office. You should submit your application well ahead of time.
Important to note: the European Health Insurance Card:
Is not a substitute for travel insurance. It does not cover private healthcare or charges such as a return ticket to your home country or lost/stolen items, and it does not cover your costs if you are going just for medical treatment.
does not imply that services will be provided for free. Because each country’s healthcare system is unique, services that are free in one country may not be free in another.
Each family member needs their own card, which is valid for up to four years.
It is worth noting that the EHIC should be replaced with the S1 form if you want to establish habitual residency in another nation. The S1 form assures that you obtain adequate medical treatment in your new country of residency.
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