EU Health Insurance Card

Conditions and procedure

Since June 2004, EU citizens within the European Economic Area [EEA] are able to receive medical assistance and hospital treatment whilst in Member States. This is achieved via an European Health Insurance Card which replaces Form E110, E111, E119 & E128.

Which countries are in the EEA?

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden & UK. Iceland, Liechtenstein & Norway are not EU members but are covered by the EHIC. Switzerland also applies the EHIC arrangements via an agreement with EU.

1st May 2004, 10 more countries joined EU; Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia & Slovenia. These countries also operate EHIC with the exception of northern Cyprus. Bulgaria & Romania are the latest members of EU, since early 2007.

Please note that not all UK residents are covered in Denmark, Iceland, Leichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Apply for the EHIC online here.

The EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment only. Private treatment is not usually covered.

If you need treatment due to an accident, or illness, it will be provided free, or at a reduced cost. However, some treatment that is free under the NHS in the UK will not necessarily be free in other countries. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your treatment, but this can usually be covered by private travel insurance.

The EHIC covers treatment for chronic diseases, or existing illnesses. If you're pregnant, it also covers routine maternity care while you're away.

The EHIC does not cover going to an EEA country, or Switzerland, specifically to get medical treatment, or to have a baby. Different rules apply.

Going to work abroad

Working inside European Economic Area [EEA], or Switzerland, and continuing to pay compulsory UK National Insurance [NI] contributions, you may be entitled to healthcare cover paid for by the UK. This will include any dependants that go with you.

You will receive medical treatment on the same
basis as if you were a resident of the country you
are going to work in.

Working abroad for one year or less

If you continue to pay compulsory NI and tax in the UK, you will need an E101 form to show that you continue to pay national insurance in the UK. To apply for an E101, your employer, or you as a self employed person / freelancer, should contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMR&C).

See E101 certificate details here

Working abroad for over two years

Up to a maximum of 5 years, your employer [or you as self-employed freelancer] should contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMR&C) for the following forms:

  • E101: this will show that tax and NI contributions are paid in the UK
  • E106: this will give cover for yourself and your family on the same basis as someone in the country in which you live
  • You should check that country's specific information to see what is covered and how to register your health form


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