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European health insurance card
The Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers (CASSTM) adopted three Decisions (No189, 190 and 191), in order to enable the introduction of the European health insurance card into national social security systems. Citizens staying temporarily in the territory of a Member State can now benefit from simplified reimbursement procedures. The European card can also be used in States in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
Decision No 189 of 18 June 2003 aimed at introducing a European health insurance card to replace the forms necessary for the application of Council Regulations (EEC) No 1408/71 and (EEC) No 574/72 as regards access to health care during a temporary stay in a Member State other than the competent State or the State of residence [Official Journal L 276 of 27.10.2003].
Decision No 190 of 18 June 2003 concerning the technical specifications of the European health insurance card [Official Journal L 276 of 27.10.2003].
Decision No 191 of 18 June 2003 concerning the replacement of forms E 111 and E 111 B by the European health insurance card [Official Journal L 276 of 27.10.2003].
Following the adoption by the Barcelona European Council in March 2002 of the Skills and Mobility Action Plan and the Communication from the Commission on the introduction of a European health insurance card, the Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers (CASSTM) approved three decisions designed to introduce a European health insurance card.
The European health insurance card will be issued by the institution of the competent State or the State of residence. So that the European card can be easily recognised by healthcare professionals and health insurance companies in the participating States, it has been designed according to a uniform model and technical specifications. Hence, two variants of the model have been defined:
- one variant for the front of the card, the back being left to the choice of the Member State issuing the card. Besides, the card may include a chip or magnetic stripe;
- one variant for the back of the card, if the Member State issuing the card wished to place it on the back of an existing national or regional card.
Each Member State is responsible for producing and distributing the European health insurance card in its territory, the duration of its validity being determined by the institution which issues it.
The introduction of the European health insurance card, within the framework of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71, has been based on decisions of the Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers (CASSTM), which is made up of representatives of the Member States and is responsible primarily for promoting and developing cooperation between the Member States with a view to modernising information exchange between institutions and speeding up the provision and reimbursement of benefits.