The European Health Insurance Card can be obtained free of charge, through which those insuredbecome eligible to use the healthcare of their country of temporary residence within the 28 Member States of the European Union and on Iceland, in Liechtenstein, in Norway and also in Switzerland with the same conditions and costs as the citizens who are insured in that country.
Who Is Eligible?
Who have their permanent residence in a Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA) are entitled to use healthcare services in Hungary. These citizens are entitled to use certain - medically necessary – healthcare services against their own health insurance in a different Member State or Contracting State. Entitlement to this care shall be certified by the Card.
Obtaining a European Health Insurance Card
The Card is issued by the competent office of the health insurance fund administration (Here
) upon request to those entitled to usenationalhealthcare services, and it can be requested free of charge at any of the offices of the health insurance fund administration. The Card can be requested at the customer service desk of any of the offices of the health insurance fund administration in person, through an agent provided with a written power of attorney, or for minors through their legal representatives. If and when the client requests the Card in writing, the administration office will dispatch it to the applicant by mail, delivery of which shall be certified by the applicant through the signature of the delivery notification.
Validity of the European Health Insurance Card
The Card shall be valid for 36 months following issuance.
In case the entitlement of the Cardholder to usenational health insurance terminates before the expiry date indicated on the Card, then the Card shall be returned to the issuing office of the health insurance fund administration without delay.
Should the insured request a Card, but the office of the health insurance fund administration is for some reason precluded in issuing it, then the insured is issued a paper-based, so-called Temporary Card Replacement Form containing the data of the Card. Healthcare shall be used to the same extent and in the same way with this Form as with the Card. The Replacement Form is valid for 90 days, and it can be obtained free of charge.
What to do in case the Card is lost?
Should the Card be destroyed, damaged, lost, stolen or otherwise rendered unusable; those insuredshall then report this fact to the competent office of the health insurance fund administration issuing the Card without delay.
Lack of EHIC
If the insured cannot produce an EHIC while seeking necessary health care in Hungary, the health care provider can accept a retroactively issued Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) as well. The PRC must be submitted by the patient or forwarded via fax at latest within 15 days following the treatment. If a PRC cannot be produced either in due time, the health care provider charges a fee for the treatment and issues an invoice. A refund of the invoiced amount is not possible in Hungary; however, the patient can apply for a reimbursement according to Hungarian tariffs from his or her competent health insurance institution after returning home.
Scope of Services within the Purview of the European Health Insurance Card
Those healthcare services can be used in Hungary against the Member State health insurance that may become necessary during any temporary stay in Hungary. The nature of the service being medically necessary is adjudicated by the attending physician; accordingly, one shall directly contact the Hungarian healthcare provider that is contracted with the Hungarian social security and healthcare organisation. The mentioned healthcare provider shall provide care to those insured (as to its manner and extent) as if they were insured in Hungary.
The Card is accepted by healthcare providers contracted with the social security of Hungary. The Card does not provide coverage for services that can be offered by the healthcare provider or by the social security of Hungary, for excess payments and mandatory contributions to be paid by those insured in Hungary.
The care package, thus the scope of all medically necessary care services, differs in each Member State; consequently, it can happen that the Card will not be accepted for certain types of services (e.g. ambulance services). Based on the resolutions of the European Commission, medically necessary care services are such as e.g. dialysis treatment, oxygen therapy, and care services relevant to giving birth. In these cases, it is best to contact the foreign healthcare provider in advance.
What Does the Card Cover?
The Card cannot be used if the insured specifically travelled to a different Member State for the exact purpose of using a certain type of healthcare services. In some cases, the Card can, nonetheless,be used, but exclusively after prior authorisation to do so.
The Card does not replace travel insurance, does not cover private services or property damage due to theft. In order to avoid such situations, it is useful to book separate insurance. The Card might also not be accepted in placed where there is no state-financed healthcare system.