Updated : 12/2011
If you need unexpected medical treatment in another EU country, presenting your European Health Insurance Card will simplify access to medical treatment in that country's statutory health care system which cannot wait until you return home - such as setting and plastering a broken leg.
If that medical treatment is free for local residents, you will not have to pay. If the country requires payment, you can either ask for reimbursement there, or put in a claim with your health insurer back home. Your expenses are reimbursed according to the rules of the country where the treatment was received.
The European Health Insurance Card does not cover repatriation, mountain rescue or stolen property – so take travel insurance to cover those risks.
Sven, a Swedish national, went to France to go spelunking. During one of his trips, he was trapped in a cave and had to be freed by the french rescue services. Back home, he received a huge bill, which he had to pay in full, as rescues are not covered by the European Health Insurance Card.
Useful national addresses and websites:
The rules are different if you travel abroad specifically for medical treatment.Still need help?
In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland