European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

 Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is on the reverse of your e-card. This replaces the “Foreign travel health insurance certificate” (form E 111, “Holiday Health Insurance Certificate”) and should be used if you need to claim health insurance entitlements while temporarily outside Austria (e.g. while on holiday or on a business trip) in EU states, the countries of the EEA or Switzerland.

The EHIC is eye-readable only. The abbreviation shown under “registration number of the insurer” on the card will not necessarily be the short form of the name of your actual insurance provider. This is merely the designation of a contact institution within Austria to be used by foreign health insurers who have provided services on your behalf. Your EHIC is valid for all health insurance providers. You will not need to renew your card if you change your health insurance provider.


Areas in which the EHIC is valid

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid in the following countries:

EU states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (Greek section), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK

EEA states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway

EFTA state: Switzerland

Treaty country: In addition, pursuant to a bilateral agreement, the EHIC has also been valid in Macedonia since 1 January 2013.


Period of validity of the EHIC

The period of validity of your EHIC is determined by various factors, including your already completed insurance periods at the time your e-card with EHIC is issued. If you do not meet the requirements, your EHIC will be invalid (only your EHIC card number will be shown on the reverse of your e-card, "*******" will be entered in all other fields. In this case, you will be able to obtain a Provisional Replacement Certificate (see below) from your health insurance provider. The obverse of your e-card will, however, be valid.


Why does the EHIC have an expiration date?

It was considered advisable to limit the period of validity of the European Health Insurance Card to prevent possible misuse on its expiry in view of the fact that in its current form it is only eye-readable abroad.

When your EHIC expires, a new e-card with EHIC will be automatically issued. This will be sent to you with an accompanying letter.

You must return your EHIC to your health provider if you move abroad and cease to be entitled to health insurance cover in Austria.

Persons who use an EHIC without the appropriate entitlements to health insurance cover (e.g. because they have terminated their health insurance agreement, have moved outside Austria, have obtained health insurance cover in their country of residence, etc.) will be held liable for all costs arising from the misuse of the card.


Don’t yet have an e-card (EHIC)?

If you haven’t yet got an e-card, your health insurance provider is required to issue you a Provisional Replacement Certificate which will provide you with the same cover as the EHIC.

If you are an Austrian resident and your health cover is provided within Austria, you should take note of the following:

The Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) is issued for the named person only. This means that the insurer must issue a separate PRC for the insured person and for each dependent of the insured person.

This link will take you to a website where you will find more useful information from the European Union about the EHIC.


Claiming entitlements

Your EHIC must be presented directly to the person/institution providing treatment (doctor, hospital etc.). Please note that the card is eye-readable only: it cannot be scanned by an electronic card reader.

You will be covered for all entitlements that are considered medically necessary in view of the situation and the probable duration of treatment required. If you plan to travel outside Austria for the specific purpose of obtaining medical treatment, you will need to obtain in advance confirmation from your insurance provider that they will cover the related costs.

Your actual entitlements will be determined exclusively by the legal regulations of the country in which you are being treated.

In some countries (such as Germany), the treatment provider will require you to complete a form in which you will need to enter the details of your EHIC and the probable duration of your stay, and in which you will be asked to confirm that you did not enter the country with the specific intention of obtaining medical treatment.


Loss, theft, damage

If your e-card is lost, stolen or damaged, please contact customer services of the Austrian social security authority on the service line 050 124 33 11 (calls made in Austria are charged at local rates) to apply for a new e-card. Your old e-card will then be invalidated for all social security purposes. If you have activated your card for additional purposes (e.g. as a citizen card), these functions will need to be transferred to your new card (please note that the authority will treat these personal data as confidential). You may be charged for your new card if there is evidence that you deliberately damaged or lost your old card.


Travel to countries outside the EU and EEA

The EHIC is not valid outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland. For some countries, there is still the “holiday illness certificate”, namely, for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia (in general, the EHIC can be used), Serbia, Montenegro, and Turkey. These certificates are issued by the employer for employees and their family members and by the responsible health insurance provider for retirees.

If you need medical treatment abroad, you will need to present your Holiday Health Insurance Certificate to the health insurance provider or relevant authority to obtain a treatment certificate valid for that country.


Rest of the world

You yourself will need to initially pay all the costs of medical treatment, medicines etc. that you receive while in countries other than those specified above. When paying, ensure that you are given an invoice that clearly details the form, extent and duration of treatment you received. You can submit this invoice to your Austrian insurance provider, who will then reimburse you in full or in part for the costs.

Note: You will also be required to initially pay the cost of medical treatment yourself if you forget to take your EHIC or Holiday Health Insurance Certificate abroad with you or the institution providing you with treatment or health coverage does not recognise the validity of these.