How Do I ?

European Health Insurance Card

You should carry a European Health Insurance Card if you:

  • Plan to go on holiday to another EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • Regularly visit any of these countries, for example on business as a transport worker or for leisure
  • Plan to go to any of these countries to seek work
  • Are being sent by your employer to work in any of these countries temporarily but will continue to pay tax in Ireland
  • Intend to undertake a course of study in any of these countries but still consider yourself as ordinarily resident in Ireland
  • Intend to visit any of these countries for any other type of temporary stay where healthcare in itself is not the aim of the visit.

If you become ill or injured during a stay abroad, in order to obtain healthcare with the Card, simply go to the nearest public health system doctor, public hospital or other public treatment centre and present your EHIC card.  Treatment in a private setting is not covered under the EHIC Card.

If you own a smartphone, you can also download the free EHIC app from the European Commission, which helps you to contact health services in the country you are visiting.

You should apply for a European Health Insurance Card within one month of travel.  If you are leaving at short notice, and don’t have time to apply, you can get a Temporary Replacement Certificate from your HSE Local Health Office.

Please note this card contains your PPS number, so please keep it in a safe and secure place.

For more information, to apply for a card or to renew a card or to get the EHIC smartphone app, go to or call the HSE infoline on 1850 24 1850.