Insurance Card

What is the European Health Insurance Card and how do I apply for it?


There are many reasons for moving to European territory: the tourist attractiveness of countries, their university facilities and international exchange programs to study abroad, the thirst for discovering a new culture, learning another language , a taste for adventure, a temporary job… For example, almost 50,000 students were able to benefit from the Erasmus program in 2017, a figure which continues to increase each year, as does intra-European tourism.

In June 2004, the European Union set up the European health insurance card (EHIC) in order to simplify administrative procedures and ensure the coverage of medical care in Europe. The card provides access to health care during a stay abroad in a European country for all persons affiliated to a social security system of an EU country.

What is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

Depending on the scheme to which the person is affiliated (general scheme, social scheme for the self-employed, agricultural social mutuality, special schemes, etc.), the terms of reimbursement may be different.

In the event of temporary stays (travel, business trips, linguistic or cultural stays, etc.) in Europe, the European health insurance card takes over from the Vitale card to cover costs and reimburse them. Unlike the Vitale card, each member of a family must have one, including children.

The validity period of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in France is 2 years. Deadlines vary by country. If the duration does not cover your entire stay, it will be useful to anticipate the renewal of the European health insurance card two months before the expiry date (notified on the back of the card) on your Ameli account, “my steps” section.

A lost or stolen European insurance card, what to do? Thanks to the Ameli account, you can declare the loss or theft online and the new EHIC will be automatically ordered and renewed. You can also make your declaration by telephone by dialing +33 184 90 36 46 from abroad.

What is the European Health Insurance Card used for?

How does Social Security work abroad? What does the European Health Insurance Card actually cover? Are the procedures for reimbursement of expenses carried out under the same conditions for all member countries?

Here are the answers to these questions:

Please note that depending on the legislation and formalities in force in the country of stay, the methods of reimbursement for treatment differ.

In other cases, the service is chargeable, you will have to make the advance. The request for reimbursement can be made on site to the competent Social Security organization of the host country. For hospitalization abroad , a discharge slip issued by the hospital services will be required.

You can also complete your file to be reimbursed on your return to France with all the supporting documents, accompanied by the cerfa form n°12267*04 “Care received abroad”.

How to get your European health insurance card?

Obtaining an EHIC card, being entitled to health insurance and benefiting from medically necessary care is very simple. There are many ways to apply for a European health insurance card. As accessible as it is, it is necessary to anticipate the card request a few days before your departure for the host country.

How to apply for the EHIC?

Application for a European card online: from your Ameli account , provided with your social security number and your secret code. If you have forgotten the password, along with your Social Security number and your date of birth, a temporary code will be sent to you via the email address you provided when creating your Ameli account. An Ameli application for smartphone and tablet is also available.

Multi-service terminals are also available at the reception points of the primary health insurance funds (CPAM). To find the location of your closest terminal to your home, on the Ameli website, type in your postal code.

In view of its great accessibility and its free nature, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of the EHIC for each member of the family. You will thus benefit from health cover for your stays within the European Union and possible coverage without advance payment in the event of hospitalization.

Imminent departure and you have not received your EHIC card, what should you do? A provisional replacement certificate for a period of three months can be requested from your primary health insurance fund. This is an online document to be downloaded in your personal space.

Can you go abroad only with your European health insurance card?

Faced with the increase of more than 5.4% in world tourist flows in 2018, the report of the National Center for Care Abroad (CNSE) reaffirms the crucial need to consolidate the conditions for supporting this mobility.

Many situations today unfortunately demonstrate the importance of additional travel insurance.

Indeed, the EHIC does not cover repatriation assistance, private care, so-called comfort costs (single room, television, telephone, etc.), or even all of the health expenses incurred in certain countries. The remaining charge can be very high.

Before you leave, it is essential to check the status of your health insurance coverage for a trip, particularly in the European Economic Area.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also invites travelers to have an assistance contract or travel insurance to cover all health and medical repatriation costs.

For some countries, additional travel insurance is therefore very strongly recom

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