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European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): What it is and how to request it

When you are planning to travel outside Spain, it is important to be able to access healthcare with your European Health Insurance Card.

However, the problem is that healthcare is not identical in all countries and a simple sprained ankle can make your trip much more complicated than you might think. Therefore, it is important for mutual society members to have medical coverage with the European Health Insurance Card. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the European Health Insurance Card:

What is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a document that confirms the holder's right to receive necessary medical treatment in the other Member States of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

There are 28 European Union member states: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden and Spain.

This international health insurance card covers temporary stays abroad for work, study and leisure reasons, however, it does not cover trips made specifically to receive medical treatment.

With the EHIC and its Provisional Replacement Certificate, the holder can access public healthcare under the same conditions and scope as citizens in the destination country.

The card is personal and non-transferable. This means that if the holder and beneficiaries travel abroad, each person must carry their own European Health Insurance Card together with their Spanish ID Card (DNI) or Passport.

What does the EHIC cover?: scope of healthcare received

As each country has its own healthcare system, the European Health Insurance Card may not include all the services that are provided by the Spanish National Health System. What's more, some services may involve a cost that users have to pay up front. There are two systems:

  • Refund system. The holder can pay the cost of the healthcare in advance
  • Copayment system. You can pay part of the amount.

To do so, the holder must review the conditions of public healthcare in the destination country before travelling.

Then, the user can request MUFACE to refund the amount paid in accordance with its own regulations.

How to request a European Health Insurance Company In person or online

To request a European Health Insurance Card, mutual society members have the following options:

  1. Visit a MUFACE provincial service or representative office 
  2. Request a European Health Insurance Card via the MUFACE electronic office. There are two ways to do this electronically:
    • With a digital certificate or Electronic ID Card (DNI ELECTRÓNICO)
    • With the holder's user and password, which requires prior registration
    • Use the means set forth in Article 16.4 of Public Administration and General Administrative Procedures Law 39/2015 of 1 October.
    • By ordinary post or fax to the MUFACE Provincial Service or Representative Office (only for the EHIC)

The EHIC will be sent within 10 days and you will be given a provisional replacement certificate upon submission of the application.

Additionally, mutual society members can authorise any of their beneficiaries of legal age or a third party to present the application on their behalf. In this case, MUFACE requires a written authorisation to be submitted, indicating the name and membership number of the mutual society member, and the name and Spanish ID (DNI) of the authorised person.

Term of validity of the EHIC and the Provisional Replacement Certificate

The European Health Insurance Card is valid for two years. whereas, the Provisional Replacement Certificate is valid for 30 days. The expiry date is indicated on the card

Use of the European Health Insurance Card is conditional on the holder, mutual society member, or beneficiaries, maintaining the same status during its period of validity. The holder must bear any healthcare fees if they misuse the card and MUFACE can claim back any unduly paid amounts in accordance with the tenth additional provision of the Consolidated Text of the Law on the Social Security of State Civil Servants, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 4,2000, of 23 June.

More information about the European Health Insurance Card

For more information about the European Health Insurance Card, please visit your nearest branch or the following websites: ec.europa.eu or www.muface.es

See source at muface.es


The European health card is valid for the medical care which mutual society members can receive in Europe, but there are other aspects of their healthcare which must be taken into account:

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