European Health Insurance Card

Passport?  Tickets?  EHIC?  CHECK!

The HSE has reminded people visiting Europe during the holiday period to make sure to take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them.  If you or a member of your family becomes ill while in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, the card will ensure easy access to public healthcare and medical services.

People who have an EHIC already should check it’s still in date and can use the HSE website,, where you can renew online or make a new application.  You can also apply for your EHIC at the HSE’s Local Health Offices or Health Centres.

The EHIC is completely free of charge via the HSE website, or from HSE Local Health Offices.  While some websites charge Irish residents a fee to renew or apply for their EHIC card, this public service is available, without any charge, from the HSE on

The card replaced the previous paper forms such as the E111 in 2004.  Anyone living in Ireland or who intends to live here for a year may apply.  You should 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 own a smartphone, you can also download the free EHIC app from the European Commission, which helps you to contact health services in the country you are visiting.

You should apply for a European Health Insurance Card within one month of travel.  If you are leaving at short notice, and don’t have time to apply, you can a Temporary Replacement Certificate from your HSE Local Health Office.

For more information,  to apply for a card, to renew a card or to get the EHIC smartphone app, go to or call the HSE Infoline on 1850 24 1850.