Who are Eligible to Apply for a European Health Insurance Card?

Applying for a European Health Insurance Card is very easy. It should only take a couple of minutes in front of your computer screen to furnish all the details that will be encoded into your EHIC record. Within 5 business days you will now receive the most coveted card in the whole world because your EHIC is truly one of a kind that you can never see anywhere else on the planet.

To qualify for a European Health Insurance Card, you must be:

  • A national or a citizen of any of the 28 countries that make up the European Union, or
  • A national or a citizen of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, or Liechtenstein, more aptly called the European Free Trade Association, and
  • A recognized member of the social security system of any of the above-mentioned countries.

Additionally, you must also be at least 16 years old to apply for your EHIC. If you have not yet reached the age of 16, you must be applied for by your parents or legal guardians. In some instances, young children can also be applied for by adults other than their biological parents or legally-recognized guardians provided, however, that expressed permission is granted by the latter to apply for the EHIC of these children. If you are below 19 years old and are still pursuing your studies on a full-time basis, your parents or guardians will also have to apply for EHIC on your behalf.

If you are a citizen of any of the countries that are mentioned above but are not really living there, you can still apply for an EHIC provided you have a valid registration and membership to the social security system of your country of residence. For example, you are a citizen of one country but you are living in a different country, you can still apply for EHIC provided you have the social security number provided by the government where you are currently living even though you are a citizen of another country.

Because the European Health Insurance Card is a highly individualized document, not like its predecessor the E111 where a family is only entitled to one document, you have to make sure that everyone else in your family is applied for the EHIC. If you have children younger than 16 years old, it is best to apply for their EHIC as your dependents. If you have adults in your household such as relatives, you may also want to encourage them to apply for an EHIC.

Now, if you are receiving some form of payment for a social insurance that is provided by a country that is not the same as your country of current residence, then your application for a European Health Insurance Card may not be approved. For example, if you are currently residing in one country yet you are also receiving social insurance payments from another country, then you might not be able to pursue your EHIC. Similarly, if you are financially dependent on someone who is receiving such social insurance payments, then your chances of getting approved for your EHIC application may be slim if none at all.

Understand that EHIC only covers healthcare expenditures provided by the public health infrastructure of the state or country you are visiting. It does not cover treatments and health care services obtained from the private sector or from anyone who is not funded by that country’s national health insurance system. EHIC does not also cover repatriation costs such as what happens when you are ill and you need to return to your home country. The cost of transportation from the point of origin – the pickup point or the accident site – to the nearest public hospital is generally not covered by EHIC although there are certain EHIC countries that provide ambulance services absolutely free. Mountain rescues as well as the use of air lift mechanisms are typically not covered.

When you apply, you give the EHIC office your full name, national health insurance number, complete address, and, in some cases, your birthdate. If you also apply for your children and spouse, you will also need to supply the necessary correct information so they, too will get their EHIC cards.

MyEHIC is your partner in applying for EHIC. If you have questions about how to apply, renew, or replace lost or stolen EHIC, just contact MyEHIC and they will be glad to assist you.