Health


Euro citizens urged to get health card for visits to other EU countries

by Ray Clancy on June 26, 2014

European citizens visiting other EU countries, plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland are advised to make sure they have their health card even if it’s only for a short trip.

Almost 200 million Europeans already have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), according to the latest figures available for 2013.

europe CONTINENT

EU citizens should get the European Health Insurance Card, even if only going on a short trip.

This represents more than half of the insured population in the EU. The number of EHIC holders is steadily increasing, with eight million more citizens carrying it in 2013 compared to the previous year, a rise of 4%.

‘It is encouraging to see that more and more people have a European Health Insurance Card. This allows them to get necessary treatment when travelling. The increasing number of citizens obtaining the Card demonstrates confidence in the EHIC system and recognition of the protection it provides,’ said László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

The EHIC, available free of charge, confirms that a person is entitled to receive any necessary medical treatment on a temporary stay abroad from the host country’s public healthcare system — on the same terms and at the same cost as nationals of that country. However, the EHIC cannot be used to cover planned medical treatment in another country.

Hospitals that provide public health services are obliged to recognise the EHIC. In fact, in the majority of cases, patients presenting the EHIC receive the necessary healthcare and are reimbursed without any problems. However, there have been cases of refusals, generally due to a lack of awareness on the part of healthcare providers.

Andor said that both the European Commission and Member States must continue to raise awareness on how the card works, among both health practitioners and citizens.

In case the EHIC is not accepted, patients should contact the relevant health authority in the country they are visiting. The emergency contact numbers are easily accessible via the EHIC application for smartphones and tablets.

In case of further refusal, patients should request support from their home country’s health authorities. Finally, if they still encounter problems, they should contact the European Commission, which can investigate the claims and raise the issue with the authorities of the country concerned. The Commission investigates such cases and when necessary, infringement procedures will be opened against any Member State not applying EU law on the use of the EHIC.

Citizens should be aware that the card is issued for free by their national health insurance provider in the home country, without any need of paying charges to intermediaries who offer help for the application process, which has been reported in some countries. Citizens should report such cases to the national health insurance authorities.

The EHIC app gives information about the card, emergency phone numbers, treatments that are covered, costs, how to claim reimbursement and who to contact in case you lose your card. The app covers 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It is available in 25 languages, with the option to switch between languages. However, the app does not replace the EHIC.

 

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for Expats urged to consider costs associated with pregnancy and birth while abroad

Expats urged to consider costs associated with pregnancy and birth while abroad

June 4, 2014 Expat Banking and Finance

British expats, especially those living outside of Europe, are being urged to consider the cost of starting or adding to their families as it is believed many do not think about the medical costs involved in pregnancy and birth. According to research by Mintel, around 55% of British expats working in professional positions abroad are [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Scandinavian countries the happiest in the world

Scandinavian countries the happiest in the world

May 9, 2014 European Union

People want to know how where they live stacks up on the happiness scale compared to other countries in the world, according to a global think tank which has produced an index to measure happiness and wellbeing. The Better Life Index compares lives across 36 countries, based on 11 topics; housing, income, jobs, community, education, [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expat workers in finance facing stress-related health issues

Expat workers in finance facing stress-related health issues

October 17, 2013 Expat Banking and Finance

Expats working in the banking and financial world could be facing health worries as a new survey identifies concerns over fear of unemployment, pressure and psychological abuse. International banks often move key staff around the world and expats also tend to find jobs in the finance industry but an unstoppable wave of change is affecting [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Half of expats do not have international medical insurance

Half of expats do not have international medical insurance

September 24, 2013 Health

Around half of expats probably do not have sufficient international private medical insurance and risk the prospect of incurring heavy costs if they become ill or suffer a serious accident. Industry data shows the percentage of expats who hold international private medical insurance standing at around the 50% mark. Although international private medical insurance provides [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for New expat travel insurance plans launched

New expat travel insurance plans launched

September 7, 2011 Health

An international medical insurance provider has launched a new global travel insurance plan designed exclusively for European Union residents regardless of nationality. Offering a choice of two core plans, the offers from ALC Health cover benefits including medical expenses, missed connections, trip cancellations, personal belongings and legal expenses, with the option to add golf and [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats suffer from everyday health complaints

Expats suffer from everyday health complaints

September 5, 2011 Health

The majority of expats suffer from general every day health problems rather than emergencies that tend to make the headlines, according to a leading healthcare provider. Having the right international healthcare is sometimes associated with emergency situations, such as evacuation from the middle of a jungle, life threatening cases of Malaria or major heart surgery [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Medical bureau warns of costs of expensive jabs abroad

Medical bureau warns of costs of expensive jabs abroad

July 19, 2011 Health

Family and friends visiting expats this summer are being reminded to make sure they have all the necessary vaccinations and not to forget jabs that might not be the obvious ones to consider. The most common vaccinations for traveling abroad include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, cholera and meningococcal meningitis. Ireland based [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Private medical insurance can be a financial lifesaver, it is claimed

Private medical insurance can be a financial lifesaver, it is claimed

July 12, 2011 Health

Overlooking private medical insurance can be costly for expats and it can be a financial lifesaver, according to wealth managers. For expats, seeking medical assistance in an unfamiliar country can be both a daunting and a costly process. Cultural differences can mean that the local health care on offer does not meet expectations and having [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats facing higher health care costs

Expats facing higher health care costs

May 20, 2011 Health

With the cost of health care increasing globally health insurance companies that specialise in providing care for expats are increasing the cover that is covered by their policies. Expats in some parts of the world, including the Middle East, China, South America and France are facing higher health care costs.

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Travellers and expats warned about measles

Travellers and expats warned about measles

May 13, 2011 Health

The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization is urging international travellers and expats to get vaccinated against measles and rubella to reduce the risk of reintroducing these two diseases which have been eliminated from the Americas. They have issued an epidemiological alert ahead of an expected surge in international travel expected for [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for International health insurance provider launched new faster online service

International health insurance provider launched new faster online service

April 13, 2011 Health

Expats around the world are being offered the chance to buy their health insurance online after one of the leading international health insurance providers upgraded its website. MediCare International says that clients worldwide can now go from quote to cover in two minutes and the cover includes war zone and chronic care costs for expats [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Many expats want to go home if they become seriously ill and believe their health has suffered since moving abroad

Many expats want to go home if they become seriously ill and believe their health has suffered since moving abroad

October 21, 2010 Health

One in five expats, equivalent to around 38 million people around the globe, would prefer to be treated outside their country of residence if they fell seriously ill, a survey has revealed. And almost half, some 44% of expats are not happy with the health care available in the country where they live, the study [...]

Read the full article →