Applying for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you fall ill during a visit to another European country, you can still obtain essential medical care in many countries with an EHIC. This stands for European Health Insurance Card. You can apply to your health insurer or the CAK to obtain an EHIC free of charge. This depends on your situation. 

Last updated on 7 July 2022

With the EHIC, you are not insured for: 

  • planned care (if you choose to have treatment outside the Netherlands); 

  • care in private clinics outside the Netherlands; 

  • medical treatment on a cruise ship; 

  • the return journey home (repatriation).

Where is the EHIC valid?

The EHIC is valid in: 

  • Iceland; 

  • Liechtenstein; 

  • Norway; 

  • Switzerland; 

  • North Macedonia; 

  • Australia. 

The EHIC is not valid in your country of residence.  The EHIC is only valid outside your country of residence. 

How does the EHIC work?

If you receive urgent medical care outside the Netherlands, for example if you break your leg, the foreign healthcare provider will bill your health insurer for the costs. These may be the hospital costs, for example. This means you do not have to pay on the spot as your health insurer will reimburse the costs. This is subject to the conditions of the country where you receive medical care. For example, you may have to pay an excess (part contribution) for your treatment.  

Applying for an EHIC

If you live and work or study in the Netherlands 

If you live and work or study in the Netherlands and have Dutch health insurance, you will often find the EHIC as standard on the reverse of your insurance card. If it isn’t there, you can apply to your Dutch health insurer (in Dutch) for an EHIC. 

If you live outside the Netherlands and work in the Netherlands 

If you live outside the Netherlands and work in the Netherlands, you can apply to your Dutch health insurer (in Dutch) for an EHIC for yourself. 

For family members who are also insured under your policy, you can apply to the Centraal Administratie Kantoor – CAK for an EHIC

If you live outside the Netherlands and receive a pension or benefit from the Netherlands 

If you live outside the Netherlands, receive a pension or benefit from the Netherlands, and are registered with the CAK, you can apply to the CAK for an EHIC. You can apply for a card for yourself and for any family members who are insured under your policy. 

You will receive the EHIC by post within 3 weeks of submitting your application. 

Laws and regulations

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 

Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 

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