Fabian Demicoli

Travelling in Europe? Do not forget your European Health Insurance Card!

 European Citizens who travel to any other EU country as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are entitled to public sector healthcare in public hospitals if they fall ill or suffer an injury while abroad, provided they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)



European citizens who are covered by a public sickness insurance scheme of one of the above countries are entitled to an EHIC. However, many countries expect patients to pay towards their treatment, even with an EHIC. You may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in Malta if you are not able to do so in the other country.


Did you know that…


• Close to 185 million EHICs are currently in circulation in the EU? This amounts to over 37% of the EU population.


• Last year, Malta issued just over 50,000 cards and there were almost 150,000


cards in circulation?


• In 2010, the Maltese government received over €400,000 worth of healthcare claims for expenses incurred by persons using an EHIC issued by Malta whilst on temporary stays abroad?


Facts you should know about the EHIC


· It is generally valid for 5 years and entitles the holder to receive the same treatment as the nationals of the Member State being visited.


· It does not cover specific visits for medical treatment abroad, including visits to seek a second opinion. However, maternity care, renal dialysis and managing the symptoms of pre-existing or chronic conditions that arise while abroad are all covered by the EHIC.


· It complements private insurance but is not a substitute for it. It never covers the cost of bringing you back in Malta in the event of serious illness, accident or death. Private insurance is highly recommended for these cases.


Applying for the card is free and easy


Contact the Entitlement Unit at the Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care on tel. 2299 2345 or click on: https://ehealth.gov.mt/HealthPortal/default.aspx. The Unit may also be contacted via email:


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