How to apply for a European Health Insurance Card

If you're travelling to a country within the European Union and want to have the same healthcare cover as any resident of the country you're travelling to, you must have a European Health Insurance Card. Would you like to know how to apply for it? 

All European citizens have the right to a European Health Insurance Card that will give them the same status as any resident of a member of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Romania, Sweden), the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or Switzerland.

How to apply for a European Health Insurance Card

Your European Health Insurance Card will be valid from the moment you receive it and will expire on the date indicated on the card.

There are different ways to apply for a European Health Insurance Card. The method used most frequently is to go to the Social Security Department's Electronic Office, where you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card directly, and then check on the status of your application.

Online

The procedure is very simple, as all you have to do is follow the steps indicated and fill in the boxes with the information the system asks you to provide. Once you have completed the process, your European Health Insurance Card will be sent to the address you provided in your application within a period of ten days. Although, as mentioned above, this is the most frequently used method, not everyone can take advantage of this simple and quick process.

The following groups of people must book an appointment by phone to visit a Social Security office in person:

  • Anyone applying for a card for the first time
  • If you receive unemployment benefit or are a beneficiary of someone who does
  • If you are in temporary employment or receive a non-contributory pension
  • Anyone who has no financial resources
  • Anyone registered in the census as an artist or bullfighter

By telephone

If you do not belong to any of aforementioned groups, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card by phone.

During the telephone conversation, you will be asked to provide the information needed to complete the process. Therefore, it's a good idea to have all the relevant documents to hand before you make the call.

Appointment for a European Health Insurance Card

If you cannot apply for a European Health Insurance Card using any of the above methods, you can do so in person at any Social Security office, provided you make a prior appointment.

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