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European health insurance card


Decisions on the European health insurance card



They introduce a standard European health insurance card. This replaces the E111 and E111B forms which were previously used. It enables citizens staying temporarily in another EU country to benefit from simplified reimbursement procedures for any healthcare they may receive.


  • The card is issued for free by the holder’s relevant national authority. This authority decides how long it should be valid.
  • It may be used in any of the 28 EU countries (1), as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions as those that apply to the citizens of the country in question.
  • The card ensures that the institution providing medical care to a temporary resident is reimbursed.
  • The card shows the holder’s name, date of birth and personal identification number. The information also includes details of the holder’s medical insurance organisation.
  • When an insured person is unable to produce the card, they may be issued a provisional replacement certificate of limited validity.
  • The card is designed according to a uniform format and specifications to ensure it can be easily recognised by medical staff and insurance companies.
  • The card is not an alternative to travel insurance and does not cover any private healthcare costs.


More information: European health insurance card


2003/751/EC: Decision No 189 of 18 June 2003 aimed at introducing a European health insurance card to replace the forms necessary for the application of Council Regulations (EEC) No 1408/71 and (EEC) No 574/72 as regards access to health care during a temporary stay in a Member State other than the competent state or the state of residence

2003/752/EC: Decision No 190 of 18 June 2003 concerning the technical specifications of the European health insurance card

2003/753/EC: Decision No 191 of 18 June 2003 concerning the replacement of forms E111 and E111B by the European health insurance card



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

2003/751/EC: Decision No 189



OJ L 276, 27.10.2003, pp. 1-3

2003/752/EC: Decision No 190



OJ L 276, 27.10.2003, pp. 4-18

2003/753/EC: Decision No 191



OJ L 276, 27.10.2003, pp. 19-21

last update 22.09.2015

(1) The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union and becomes a third country (non-EU country) as of 1 February 2020.