The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows UK residents to receive health care in European Union countries and Switzerland.  The card was introduced in 2006 and replaced form E111.

In some countries, you may have to pay a patient contribution, also known as a co-payment. These payments are typically for such things as GP or dentist consultations, prescriptions, or stays in hospital. See our country-by-country guide for more details.

Since July 1 2014 you are no longer able to claim a reimbursement of these co-payments in the UK.

What does this mean for me?

If you visit another EEA country where that country requires its own citizens to pay a patient contribution, you will also need to pay this. You will no longer be able to claim reimbursement for this payment when you return to the UK for treatment received after July 1 2014. 

You may still be able to claim reimbursements for any co-payments you made for treatment received abroad before July 1 2014. 

Your EHIC will continue to allow you to receive medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip and you will be treated on the same basis as a resident of the country that you are visiting.

Where can I get advice?

Click here to visit the NHS Choices website.

For further advice, contact the Overseas Healthcare Team (DWP):


Overseas Healthcare Team

Post Handling Site A


WV98 2DW

Phone 0191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday 8am–5pm).