European Union


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 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 New York, London and Paris still top global cities

New York, London and Paris still top global cities

May 5, 2014 Africa

If you want to live and work in one of the top global cities then New York, London, and Paris are still your best bets, but within 20 years, it might be Jakarta, Manila, Sao Paulo, New Delhi or even Addis Ababa. New York and London remain the world’s most global cities, closely followed by [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Study looks at the economic benefits of attracting international students

Study looks at the economic benefits of attracting international students

April 28, 2014 European Union

Tuition, immigration and tax policies all have an effect on the economic and financial benefits of an international student’s study in a foreign country, new research suggests. Studying abroad is now regarded as one way of improving the chances of getting a high flying job, but there are a lot of financial and economic costs [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats moving to warmer Mediterranean countries are not happier

Expats moving to warmer Mediterranean countries are not happier

April 25, 2014 European Union

Expats from Northern European countries who move to the Mediterranean in search of a better lifestyle end up unhappier than if they had stayed at home, new research has found. People from the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and France who went to Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus found that their new life did [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for EU launches online air safety checking tool

EU launches online air safety checking tool

April 18, 2014 European Union

People travelling to and from and in and around Europe can now search online to find out which airlines are subject to bans. The European Commission has launched an online tool to search the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union that are on the [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Lower mobile phone roaming charges for expats from end of 2015

Lower mobile phone roaming charges for expats from end of 2015

April 8, 2014 European Union

Expats living and working in Europe often travel and make frequent trips between countries as well as travelling to their home country and can face paying high roaming charges for their mobile phones. Now that is about to change as the European Parliament has voted to end roaming charges by Christmas 2015, as part of [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats offered wage premium to compensate for air pollution

Expats offered wage premium to compensate for air pollution

April 3, 2014 Britain

Air pollution is often associated with crowded Chinese cities and expat workers in particular can find it hard to cope and be concerned about health implications. But recent air pollutions warnings in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and London show that even apparently cleaner cities can experience the same kind of health risks. One global firm, Japanese [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Fewer people dream of moving abroad permanently, new poll reveals

Fewer people dream of moving abroad permanently, new poll reveals

April 2, 2014 America

People’s desire globally to migrate permanently to other countries has cooled to 13%, but populations are still growing in Europe, the Middle East and North America, a new poll shows. The latest Potential Net Migration Index (PNMI) from Gallup shows populations would still grow in these areas if everyone who wanted to move actually moved [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for People in Denmark have highest life satisfaction

People in Denmark have highest life satisfaction

March 31, 2014 European Union

Europeans tend to be quite satisfied with life in general but there are clear regional differences with people living in Nordic countries and western and southern Europe happier than those living in the Baltics, central Europe and the Balkans. The research by the European Commission measures life satisfaction on a scale from one which is [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Singapore and Paris knock Tokyo off top of list of most expensive cities

Singapore and Paris knock Tokyo off top of list of most expensive cities

March 11, 2014 European Union

Singapore has been named as the world’s most expensive city, knocking Tokyo off the top spot, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. The report compares the cost of living between 131 cities worldwide comparing a basket of goods ranging from household items, alcohol and clothing to petrol and utilities. Expats [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats more likely to be families than single career minded people

Expats more likely to be families than single career minded people

February 26, 2014 Britain

Today’s expats are likely to be families with children but 39% have no jobs lined up when they arrive in their new country, a survey has found. It is a change from years ago when expats were more likely to be single people seeking a career in a high flying job with higher pay. The [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for British expats in Europe to ensure they can vote in upcoming elections

British expats in Europe to ensure they can vote in upcoming elections

February 20, 2014 Britain

British expats living in Europe are being encouraged to register so they can vote in the European Parliamentary elections in May. The Electoral Commission has launched an international campaign in a bid to boost the number of expats on the UK’s electoral registers. It has declared Wednesday 26 February as Overseas Registration Day and points [...]

Read the full article →