European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) PDF Print

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the E1111 form in 2006. The EHIC makes it easier for people from the European Union’s 27 Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to access health care services during temporary visits abroad.

The card ensures that you will get the same access to public sector health care (e.g. a doctor, a pharmacy, a hospital or a health care centre) as nationals of the country you are visiting. If you have to receive medical attention in a country that charges for health care, you will be reimbursed either immediately, or after you go home to your own country. The idea is that you are given the care you need to allow you to continue with your stay.

Renal Dialysis (and Oxygen Therapy) is defined as an emergency treatment and so is covered by the EHIC. This allows EEA nationals to receive free dialysis treatment in member states.

How to apply for your EHIC

Firstly contact your local health authority / agency in your country (links below) Each individual country produces and distributes the card in their own territory.

To be eligible, you must be insured by or covered by a state social security system in any Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Each separate member of a family travelling should have their own card.

People from third countries who are resident in one of the EU Member States and are covered by a state social security scheme are also eligible for a card . However, please note that third country nationals cannot use their EHIC for medical treatment in Denmark.

This site covers the EHIC across Europe and is an invaluble source of information. Applying for a card

You must take additional insurance before you travel. 

Not all EEA dialysis centres accept the EHIC as payment, so please check with the centre before your travel.

National links for additional information

The current member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) are:


  • Switzerland is not part of the EEA but does have special arrangements with regard to the EHIC.
  • The EHIC is not valid in Switzerland for nationals of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  • Nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway cannot use their EHIC in Switzerland or vice versa.

Note: There are some unusual places that accept EHIC because they belong to an EEA state:

  • The AUDRA centres on the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe accept EHIC because it is a French dependency.
  • Some of the cruises offered by Schiffs Dialyse (Germany) accept EHIC.

Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey are future candidates for inclusion in the EEA

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