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Country-by-country guide

Travelling in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

The European Economic Area (EEA) is a free trade zone between the countries of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The regulations on access to healthcare in the EEA also apply in Switzerland.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.

It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth

If you find yourself in an emergency during your visit to Europe, dial 112. The European emergency number is valid in all EU/EEA member states and is free of charge. You can use it to reach emergency services from any telephone or mobile phone free of charge.

If you intend to move abroad or are going abroad specifically to have treatment, different rules may apply. Read about moving abroad or planning medical treatment abroad before you read about the details of the country you're visiting.

Each EEA country listed below has specific guidance on how to access healthcare or claim refunds.

Note: Since July 1 2014 you are no longer able to apply for a residual S1 form if you are an early retiree living abroad. If you already have a residual S1, this will not affect you – it will continue to be valid until its original expiry date. 

Select the country you intend to visit:

Note: the following European countries do not accept the EHIC. Ensure you have adequate insurance before you travel.

  • The Channel Islands, including Guernsey, Alderney and Sark
  • The Isle of Man
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • The Vatican

Page last reviewed: 01/07/2014

Next review due: 01/07/2016

European countries that do not accept the EHIC

The countries listed below do not accept a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Ensure you have adequate insurance before you travel.

  • The Channel Islands, including Guernsey, Alderney and Sark
  • The Isle of Man
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • The Vatican  

 

EHIC on Facebook

Follow EHIC on Facebook for the latest updates and answers to your questions

Going abroad?

If you're travelling to an EEA country, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Protect your skin and eyes

How to keep safe from sun damage (including from sunbeds) and reduce the risk of skin cancer

Travel vaccinations

Learn about the vaccinations available for travellers, and the diseases they protect against

Insect bites and stings

Find out about some of the most common insect bites and stings, how they're treated and when to get medical advice

EHIC: packing for your holiday

Be prepared for your holiday, and make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It costs nothing to apply for or renew an EHIC. For more information, email the NHS Business Services Authority (nhsbsa.ehicenquiries@nhsbsa.nhs.uk) or call 0300 330 1350.

Media last reviewed: 16/06/2015

Next review due: 16/06/2017