European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides EU/EEA citizens access to necessary medical care in 34 countries within Europe and Australia. The card is issued by the national insurance company or health service.

Citizens that use their EHIC are allowed to receive necessary healthcare based on the same conditions as their home country.

How can I acquire an EHIC?

If you do not possess an EHIC card, you can apply for one with your national health service or insurance company.

It takes approximately 1 to 2 weeks before you receive your European health insurance card.

The EHIC is usually valid for several years. You can check this information on the back of the card.

What does EHIC provide?

EHIC is meant to grant access to public health in member states whilst travelling.


  • EHIC does not cover planned treatments abroad, only medically necessary healthcare
  • EHIC does not cover private healthcare or repatriation
  • EHIC does not guarantee free treatment, since there are differences within the EU healthcare systems
  • EHIC is a personal card: children should have their own card

Consult your home country insurance company about your specific cover whilst abroad.

How does EHIC work?

EHIC works as follows:

  1. You need medical healthcare whilst abroad
  2. The healthcare provider, for example, a local hospital, claims the medical expenses with your current health insurance company or health service
  3. The insurance company or health service determines which costs are to be reimbursed and whether any excess costs (eigen risic) are to be paid by the patient

Where can I use my EHIC?

You can use the EHIC in most countries in Europe and Australia.

EEA countries include:

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • North-Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

EHIC in The Netherlands

When you take out Dutch health insurance you will, in most cases, automatically receive your EHIC. The card entitles you for reimbursement of urgent medical care during your temporary stay in The Netherlands.

You can use your EHIC when:

  • You only stay in The Netherlands temporarily for example, during a holiday
  • You stay in The Netherlands during you studies

If you pay income tax in The Netherlands, for example, if you have job, you will be obligated to obtain a Dutch health insurance for medical cover.

If you are not eligible for Dutch health insurance, you could get private health insurance that covers you for all medical care in The Netherlands

What information does the EHIC contain?

Each EHIC contains the following information:

  • Name and surname
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Identification number
  • Insurance service or company name
  • Expiry date
  • Emergency number