If you are used to traveling or if you have a planned trip to Europe, then you must have your card valid in the European health system with you. The European Health Card, as it is commonly known, is uniformly called European Health Insurance Card (CESD) in all Member States. We will explain how to order your European Health Card online.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
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European Illness Health Card, what is it for?
It is issued by Social Security and is free of charge.
If you travel in Europe, you can use the card if you need healthcare. It works like European health insurance.
With this card you are covered by the same conditions as nationals of the State where you are.
You can contact any health care provider connected to the Social Security system in the country of stay. You only have to present the card, which is personal and non-transferable.
If you are traveling with your family, they must also have a card to access, if necessary, the health system in Europe.
What is the interest in ordering a European Health Card?
It allows access to the health system in Europe, for medical assistance in the countries of the European Union and also in 4 countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
It can be used whether you are on vacation, on business or even studying. It is valid for temporary stays in any of those States.
It does not cover health expenses if you travel solely for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment. For this purpose, you must obtain prior authorization.
The card does not allow assistance in private places, it is only valid in the public systems of each State.
There are some health insurance that can be complementary to the public health system, even outside the country.
As you are covered by the same conditions that each State offers its citizens, there may be cases where assistance is completely free, but in others you may have to bear some costs, equivalent to our user fees, in force in the country you are visiting.
In some Member States, there may be private health facilities that are covered by the social security system of the country where they are temporarily located.
What are the conditions of this type of insurance in each Member State?
To apply for a European Health Card and to find out about the existing conditions in each Member State, consult the information available online. Just go to the website of European Comission and look for the country you want to visit.
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You can also download the European Health Card application to your Smartphone, which has a guide on how to use the card in the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
It includes general information about the card, emergency phone numbers, treatments and costs covered, how to request a refund and who to contact in case you lose your card, as well as a card validity reminder function.
All this information is also available on your “smartphone” when you are “offline”.
The application is available in 25 languages with the facility to switch from one language to another.
Access to European Health Insurance.
The card can be ordered online, on the Social Security Direct website and is sent to your home by postal letter. It is valid for three years, after which a new application must be made.
Enter your NISS - social security identification number and password.
Once inside the Direct Social Security system, choose the option “Illness” and, within this option, “Get European Health Insurance Card”:
Selecting the “European Health Insurance Card”, you will find the application form that you will have to fill in with your details.
Online Card Renewal
To renew the European Health and Illness Card, you will have to follow the same steps, although you can only request renewal during the last month in which the period expires.
If you want to be attended to in other places, there are other alternatives available, in the usual places that you can find out by consulting the same “site”.
Ask for the Health Card how long does it take?
From our experience, the card takes less than a month to be delivered.
It should be noted, however, that being sent by post, using the CTT service, lately there has been a relative slowness in delivery.
See also other features
- How to renew your citizen card online
- Health insurance, which will be the best?
- Health insurance for seniors
- How to get the Digital Mobile Key (CMD)
- Access SNS Online, see how
- Online virtual credit card tips
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