European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to urgent and essential medical care during a temporary stay abroad. By presenting the card, you prove to the foreign healthcare provider that you are insured for medical treatment. Within Europe, in many cases this means that you do not have to pay any charges upfront.
No advance charges
In Europe, the EHIC is accepted by hospitals and most other healthcare providers. If you present the card when you need treatment, you do not need to pay them any charges yourself. Instead, they bill OHRA directly. Note that some non-hospital healthcare providers do not yet accept the EHIC. If you visit one of them, you will have to pay upfront.
Reimbursements under your OHRA Health Insurance are subject to an annual policy excess. But when a foreign healthcare provider bills us for costs incurred using your EHIC, you do not pay any excess. If you have to pay medical costs in advance and then claim them under your OHRA policy, however, any outstanding excess is deducted from your reimbursement.
When using the EHIC abroad, you are covered for treatment in accordance with the national health insurance scheme of the country concerned. If the costs you incur are higher than the maximum reimbursement under that scheme, or you receive treatment or services not covered by it, then you must pay any additional charges yourself. In this case, keep the invoices and submit a claim to OHRA when you return home. But note that we will only reimburse these additional costs if you have the relevant supplementary cover with us.
Countries where the EHIC is valid
The EHIC is valid in most European countries and Australia. You can use it in the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (but not Northern Cyprus), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (validity in the UK may change from 2021; the agreements about this have yet to be finalized).
The EHIC is also valid in some territories outside Europe which are part of an EU country. These are the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla (Spain), French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin (France), Gibraltar (United Kingdom) and Madeira and the Azores (Portugal).
Some other countries require a different proof of insurance, such as Form 111. For Russia and Belarus, you must have an insurer’s declaration that you hold sufficient medical cover.
When is the EHIC not valid?
The EHIC will not be accepted if you:
- are travelling to undergo planned care or treatment abroad
- visit a private healthcare provider or clinic
- reside permanently abroad
- are in a country not mentioned above
Apply for your free EHIC
OHRA policyholders can apply for the EHIC at Mijn OHRA Zorgverzekering. The card is personal, so you need to obtain a separate one for each insured person (including children under the age of 18). The card will be delivered to your home within four working days. It is valid for five years, as long as you remain insured with OHRA throughout that time.
Other useful documents
If you take medication on a regular basis or have any ongoing medical conditions, we strongly recommend that you also carry a European Medical Passport (EMP) when travelling abroad. This contains information about your health and the medicines you take. You may also need an official declaration if you take medications which are classified as controlled drugs in other countries.