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Easier access to medical care abroad

Easier access to medical care abroad


When you travel abroad in Europe, there are various EU measures to help you get medical treatment and meet healthcare costs, both for planned and unplanned treatment.

Whether you are Spanish and doing business in London or Polish relaxing on the Italian coast – travelling in Europe has never been easier. But what should you do if you fall ill?

The European health insurance card (covering 31 countries) ensures you get medical treatment during a temporary stay in another European country and guarantees reimbursement from the health authority in your home country. The card is free and contains no medical information. Contact your local health insurance office to get your hands on one.

If you are travelling abroad specifically to get treatment, different rules apply. Usually, your costs are only covered if the country where you are insured recognises the treatment. In this case, you must ask your health insurance office for the necessary authorisation before leaving.

Each country has its own social security system. EU rules coordinate, but do not standardise these systems. This means that countries are free to decide what benefits to provide, as long as they respect the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination.

EU website on health care abroad

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