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Benefits of the European Health Insurance Card

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With the summer upon us, many people are heading overseas to other European Union countries for vacation and pleasure, or perhaps business. It is the time of year for summer activities such as swimming, boating and biking, congested highways and travelling throughout different cities and countries. With the adventures of the summer, it is important to ensure that you are adequately covered in the unforeseen circumstance that you require medical care outside of your home country.

An unquestionable benefit to living in an EU member state is the relative ease of travel, business, currency and insurance between member states. In order to ensure hassle free medical coverage outside of your home country, it is as easy as requesting a European Health Insurance Card from your local health authority. Access to the card is free of charge and is accepted in all 27 EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The advantages to having the card is that it allows for direct access to the required medical care you need while outside of your country. The care received is the same as the care experienced by nationals of that country and depending on the member country you are visiting the treatments or services may be free of charge or reimbursed. Without the European Health Insurance Card, while necessary medical care will be provided based on medical laws and ethics, any treatment or service will need to be paid for upfront and the subsequent reimbursement process could be lengthy.

In the event that the card is lost, stolen or forgotten, a provisional replacement certificate can be issued confirming that you are covered by a European Health Insurance Card. Additional information can be reviewed through the European Commission website; http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559

After all the summer should be a time of relaxation and worry free enjoyment.

Written by Sophie Iafrate