FAQs - Your health insurance cover
Affected by Brexit?
The rules and conditions presented on this page still apply in the UK and to UK citizens in the EU.
If you have acquired any social security rights (such as the right to healthcare, unemployment benefits, pensions) before 31 December 2020, the UK Withdrawal Agreement sets out the general rules for the protection of these rights. Read more about your rights.
If you have problems enforcing your rights, contact our assistance services.
What happens to rights I acquired in another country before moving?Whenever certain conditions have to be fulfilled before you become entitled to health coverage, the national health insurance body examining your claim must take account of periods of insurance, residence or employment completed under the legislation of other EU countries. This ensures that you will not lose your healthcare coverage when changing jobs or moving to another country.
For example, in some countries, you may only become entitled to healthcare after 6 months of insurance there. EU rules ensure that you will be entitled to sickness benefits from the beginning of your insurance period there if you had previously been covered for 6 months or more in any other EU country.
My employer has sent me abroad temporarily to work in another EU country. I was given the A1 and S1 forms before leaving. I've registered in my host country using my S1 form, where I now have full healthcare cover. Where do I apply for my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - in my home country or my host country?Apply for your EHIC in your home country, where you are insured and were given the S1 form.
As a cross-border worker (living in one country, working in another), can I have access to healthcare in the country where I work, although I don't live there?As a cross-border worker, you can access healthcare either in the country where you live or in the country where you work. In many cases, it will be more practical for you to receive healthcare in the country where you work and where you spend most of your time.
As a "posted worker", posted temporarily to another EU country, which country is in charge of my healthcare?When you are "posted" by your employer, or you "post" yourself as a self-employed person, to work in another EU country, you will remain covered by your home country.If, during your posting, you decide to live permanently in the country where you are posted, you will be covered in the country where you're working using the S1 form.
As a retired cross-border worker (living in one country, working in another), can I still obtain healthcare in the country where I was employed?YES - in some cases. You can receive healthcare in both countries even after retiring if both your country of former employment and the country that is responsible for your social security coverage as a pensioner are among the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Greece, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
For further information, you should contact your national social security body.
I'm a student. I have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by my home country. Do I need to take out health insurance in my host EU country?NO - Students going abroad to study temporarily can use the EHIC issued to them by their home country. So, you don't need to take out health insurance in the country where your're studying. However, you will need to take out health insurance in the country where you are studying if you:
- become permanently resident in the country where you're studying
- start working in the country where you are studying
I' m a student. I have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by my home country. What kind of medical care can I get in the EU country where I'm studying?The EHIC allows you to obtain any medical treatment that you need while you're temporarily studying in another EU country (such as emergency treatment). It gives students access to whatever medical treatment is necessary, depending on the nature of the medical care and the expected length of time abroad. It's up to the healthcare provider to define what types of treatment are medically "necessary".
You should be aware that you can only use your EHIC at public healthcare providers, as it does not cover healthcare provided privately.
I'm a pensioner living in another EU country. Which country is responsible for my healthcare?The country which deals with your healthcare is the country which pays your pension. If you receive a pension from more than one country and one of them is the country where you live, this country will be responsible for your healthcare coverage, and that of your family members.
If you do not receive a pension or any other income from the country where you live, you and your family will receive medical treatment there if you would be entitled to medical treatment in the country that pays your pension.
I'm a pensioner retiring to another EU country. How can I get access to healthcare abroad?As a pensioner settling in another EU country, you have full access to healthcare in your new country of residence, on the same terms as nationals of that country. You should ask for an S1 form (from your national health insurance body) in the country that pays your pension. You should then register using this form with the health insurance body in your new country of residence.
I'm a pensioner retiring abroad. I've been given the S1 form - but I can't get the same healthcare services I'm used to at home in my new country of residence. Should that be the case?You'll receive treatment as if you were insured in your new country of residence, under the same conditions as nationals there. But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have access to exactly the same services as in your home country. Healthcare services differ significantly across the EU, as each country decides its healthcare system.Make sure you contact the relevant national authorities before moving abroad to ask for information about your rights and obligations in your new country of residence.
I'm a pensioner and live in another EU country, where I have full access to healthcare (having been given an S1 form). Can I still go back to my home country for any medical treatment that is not available in my new country of residence?That depends on which country you remain subject to (this can often be the country that is paying your pension). Generally speaking, you can't go back to your home country for medical treatment you had access to before moving abroad permanently. However, some EU countries offer more favourable conditions to pensioners who have moved abroad.
If the country you remain subject to is one of the following, you are entitled to return there for treatment under the same conditions: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland.
If you travel to other countries or the country which you remain subject to, you can use an EHIC to receive any medical treatment that becomes medically necessary during your stay there.