Know Your Rights: European Health Insurance Card

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: I’ve just booked my summer holidays for this year and plan to travel around Europe with my partner and my 10-year old son.   How do I make sure we have access to public healthcare while travelling?

Answer: Each member of your family will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).  This card allows you to access public healthcare service in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) state for free, or at a reduced cost. (The EHIC was formerly known as the E111 form).

All member states of the EU are covered by the card, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The EHIC card is free of charge and you can make an application for yourself, your partner and any dependent children under the age of 16.  You have two options to apply:

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• If you already have a medical card or Drugs Payment Scheme card, you can apply online for your EHIC at

• Or, you can download an application form from or get one from your Local Health Office. You need to provide your name, address, date of birth and Personal Public Service Number (PPSN).

• If your EHIC has expired you can renew it online at You will need your old EHIC number and your Personal Public Service (PPS) number. If your details have changed (for example, your address) you will need to contact your Local Health Office to renew the card.

If you have concerns about getting a new or renewed card in time, you can get a Temporary Replacement Certificate, either online or from your Local Health Office.

You may also wish to consider taking out private travel insurance for expenses not covered by the EHIC (such as the costs of repatriation or the expenses of relatives who travel to you if you fall ill abroad).

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780. Outreach Services; Killorglin weekly, Dingle monthly, please call Tralee for more information.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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