European Health Insurance Card

Passport? Tickets? EHIC? CHECK!

The HSE is advising anyone traveling overseas during the holiday
period to make sure to take the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
with them. If you or a member of your family becomes ill while abroad,
the card will ensure easy access to free public healthcare and medical
The European Health Insurance Card or EHIC allows the holder easy
access to necessary healthcare in the public health system of any EU
(European Union), EEA (European Economic Area) country or Switzerland,
if they become ill or injured while on holiday or staying temporarily
in that country.
The card replaces the previous paper forms such as the E111 and is
free of charge to anyone who is living in Ireland or intends to live
here for a year. Each card is valid for a period of two years.
You should you carry a European Health Insurance Card if you:

Plan to go on holiday to another EU / EEA country or Switzerland
Regularly visit any of these countries, for example, on business,
as a transport worker or for leisure
Plan to go to any of these countries to seek work
Are being sent by your employer to work in any of these countries
temporarily but will continue to pay tax in Ireland
Intend to undertake a course of study in any of these countries
but still consider yourself as ordinarily resident in Ireland
Intend to visit any of these countries for any other type of
temporary stay where healthcare in itself is not the aim of the visit

If you become ill or injured during a stay abroad, in order to obtain
healthcare with the Card, simply go to the nearest public health
system doctor, public hospital, or other public treatment centre and
present your EHIC card. Treatment in a private setting is not covered
under the EHIC card.

If you don’t have your EHIC card at the time of traveling, you can get
a Temporary Replacement Certificate. This Certificate gives you the
same entitlement as the Card, but for a shorter period.

You should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (or Temporary
Replacement Certificate) one month in advance of travel. The EHIC card
is free of charge.

You can apply online at for your European Health Insurance
Card if you are currently resident in Ireland and you already have
either a medical card or a Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) card. Your card
or certificate will then be posted out to you.  If you are already the
holder of a card make sure that it is in date for the period of your
travel.  If it is not you can renew your card online at
For more information, see