EEA Countries

Travelling in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

The European Economic Area (EEA) is a free trade zone between countries of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The regulations on access to healthcare in the EEA also apply in Switzerland.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

Tip: If you find yourself in an emergency during your visit in Europe dial 112.  The European emergency number is vaild in all EU/EEA member states and is free of charge.  You can use it to reach emergency services such as ambulance or police from any telephone or mobile phone free of charge.

The rules are different if you intend to move abroad or are going abroad specifically to have treatment. Read about moving abroad or planning medical treatment abroad before you read the details of the country you're visiting.

Each EEA country listed below has specific guidance on how to access healthcare or claim refunds.

Note: EHIC rule changes mean you will no longer be able to claim a refund for most patient contributions (co-payments) when using your EHIC card for treatment received after July 1 2014.  Also since July 1 2014, you are no longer able to apply for residual S1 form if you are an early retiree living abroad.  If you already have a residual S1, this will not affect you - it will continue to be vaild until its original expiry date.

Click on the country you intend to visit:

Last Updated: 01/04/2017 09:00:00
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website