Applying For The European
Health Insurance Card (EHIC) In Croatia

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At least 11 million people visit Croatia every year as tourists. With famous beaches like the Zlatni Rat and the countless landmarks of historical and archeological significance, it is not surprising why you would also want to plan your next holiday vacation in Croatia. And if you do plan to visit the country anytime soon, make sure that you apply first for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) so you will also gain access to the well-recognized universal healthcare system of the state of the Republic of Croatia. It is very easy to apply and, best of all, is absolutely free of charge. With this card, you can visit Croatia as well as the other 31 member countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland without having to worry about prohibitive healthcare costs which you may incur for any illness, disease, or injury that you sustain while on a holiday in these countries. The EHIC also provides relevant medical attention for normal and routine maternal care as well as the routine treatment for pre-existing chronic medical conditions.

It is important to understand that the EHIC is largely dependent on existing policies and healthcare framework of the country you are visiting. For example, British nationals typically don’t pay for state-provided healthcare services because it is already paid for by the taxes collected from the people. In other countries, however, nationals may have to shoulder part of the cost of public healthcare system by paying what they call as “patient contribution”. This simply means that if a UK national were to visit any of these countries, he or she may have to pay for the “patient contribution” for the service that would otherwise be free in the UK. But don’t worry because this payment is significantly lower than the actual cost of the healthcare service provided.

You have to take your EHIC with you so you will be able to avail of such services. If you fail to present your EHIC, then you will be treated as any other non-EU national. That means you will be paying upfront the full cost of the medical treatment or healthcare service you availed of.

If you’re in Croatia and you would like to avail of medical services using your EHIC, it is important to make sure that you are getting it from one of the state’s recognized provider and that it is under the nation’s public healthcare system. More importantly, you have to make sure that the provider is funded and recognized by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund. If not, you might end up paying more because EHIC does not cover medical and healthcare services obtained from private medical practitioners or healthcare systems.

Because Croatia charges its citizens with a patient contribution, you will also be asked to pay about 10 Croatian Kuna (HRK) which is equivalent to 1.33 Euros or about £1.15 if you are going to seek medical treatment from a state physician, clinic, or hospital. This is definitely a lot better than paying for the whole cost of the treatment if you don’t have the EHIC. To help facilitate the easier verification of your EHIC, make sure to carry with you your passport as the EHIC does not have your picture on it. Healthcare providers or institutions where you will receive your treatment will have to verify your identity by comparing your passport details with the information contained in your EHIC.

The cost of hospitalization in Croatia is about HRK100, equivalent to €13.3 or £11.5, per day. Treatments can run up to HRK2,000 or about €266 or £230. Normally, you will be referred to a government hospital by a licensed physician. However, it is a medical emergency, you can proceed to the nearest government emergency medical facility. You can also call the toll-free number of Croatia’s emergency services by dialing 112 on your phone or even a mobile phone. They can send an ambulance to take you to the hospital with no additional charge.

When availing of any medical treatment using your EHIC it is crucial to keep all documents like receipts, certifications, medication prescriptions, and doctor’s orders as well as any other pertinent document that is related to your use of the EHIC and your availing of Croatia’s healthcare services. These are necessary for filing for a reimbursement of the expenses you’ve incurred during your hospitalization or treatment.

The European Health Insurance Card is your key to enjoying your holiday in Croatia. You don’t have to worry anymore about your medical and health care. So, apply for your EHIC now.