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

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There are a lot of reasons why Germany is 7th in the world when it comes to the country most visited by foreign nationals. It’s got a very rich and colorful cultural heritage, superb countryside, magnificent cities, unparalleled cleanliness, the vibe of modernity, sumptuous gastronomy, excellent accessibility, exceptional hospitality, exciting nightlife, and unmatched shopping opportunities. It’s a heaven for almost anyone and if you are planning your next overseas holiday to be spent in historic Germany, then you really need to have the European Health Insurance Card, also known by Germans as Europaische Krankenversicherungskarte, before making the travel. You can apply easily for the EHIC card in your home country as long as it is a member of the European Economic Area. Swiss nationals can also apply for the EHIC in Switzerland even though the nation is not a member of EEA. It nevertheless has bilateral agreements with member countries entitling them to the same EHIC benefits as other nationalities.

If you are a British national, don’t let the Brexit result scare you. The UK is still pretty much a part of the EEA and, until negotiations are finalized, the European Union. You can also apply for an EHIC for every member of your family so they, too are entitled to the same benefits of EHIC whenever they go on a travel with you or when they do so on their own.

But why is the EHIC important anyway? You can look at the EHIC as an instrument that signifies the common understanding among EEA nations that health is important for all its citizens. And since Europeans love to travel to member nations, it is clearly a hassle to cut short one’s holiday trip to return home to seek medical treatment for a condition that can otherwise be treated in the visited or host country. This is the essence of the EHIC. It actually replaced the aging E111.

So, if you’re in Germany and you need medical assistance because of an accident or a condition that occurred from your holiday merrymaking activities – perhaps too much cholesterol that you suffered a hypertensive crisis or even a sudden spike in your blood sugar – you can visit any healthcare provider that is covered or funded by the German national medical insurance program. This means government hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and clinics. You are going to show to them your EHIC to receive the treatment. Do take note that the EHIC is highly specific for holiday-makers or visitors. If you enter Germany simply because you want to receive treatment, then you cannot expect EHIC to provide you coverage. It does cover pre-existing or chronic conditions that may require routine treatment, however, including routine prenatal treatments.

Understand that EHIC guarantees you access to healthcare that is received by all Germans. So, if they are going to pay for a particular treatment or care, then you can expect to pay for these services as well.

If you are visiting a doctor in Germany, you need to look for a sign that says Alle Kassen or even Kassenartzt. This is your cue that the doctor is duly funded by the nation’s public health system. This includes both medical doctors and dentists. Also, you will need to bring with you your passport as a tool for verifying or validating the information contained in your European Health Insurance Card. The EHIC doesn’t contain a picture of the card-bearer so healthcare institutions are mandated to ask for verifying documents.

Getting a prescription requires a charge of 10 percent of the total cost of the medications that have been prescribed. You can bring with you your own prescription medications if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Just make sure you have the correct and appropriate documentation for it.

If you are received treatments in a hospital setting, you will also be charged 10 percent of the treatment cost. If you get hospitalized, you will be paying around €10 per day and you are allowed to stay in the hospital for as long as 28 days. If you avail of ambulance services, this will also require a 10 percent charge.

Traveling to Germany can be an experience of a lifetime. Since you will never know if you maintain your health while in Germany, it is best to go fully prepared. EHIC provides you the best solution for your fundamental healthcare needs, including that of your family, so you get to enjoy your holiday vacation a lot better. It simplifies access to state-provided healthcare that Germany is well-known for.