What is the EHIC?
The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card, is an EU document. It confirms your right to free treatment in any EU or EFTA Member State other than your own. The EHIC is issued for each person separately. Each separate member of a family travelling should have their own card.
Important! If you are travelling to the United Kingdom, please read the rules that apply after 31 December 2020 under the Brexit tab.
Important! The EHIC for blind and visually impaired persons can be labelled with a Braille sticker at your request.
What treatment can you obtain with the EHIC?
The treatment coverage with the EHIC is limited. You are only entitled to:
- necessary and unplanned treatment,
- treatment under the public healthcare system of the country concerned,
- treatment on the same rules as nationals of the country concerned (for example, if a country requires you to contribute towards the cost of a consultation with a doctor, you will contribute towards this as well).
The services covered by the EHIC usually do not include:
• costs of rescue operations in the EU/EFTA states. This is why before going to another country, when you – for example – do sports associated with such risk, you should check the applicable rules of assistance under the EHIC and consider an additional commercial insurance policy,
• costs of return to the country in the case of sudden illness (the only exception may include the economic reasons, when further costs of treatment under the EHIC in the country of stay are higher than the costs of transport).
When can you benefit from the EHIC?
You will obtain the EHIC if you are entitled to health care benefits in Poland. Persons entitled to health benefits:
- insured persons (e.g. working or retired persons),
- non-insured persons who, however, are entitled to treatment under special entitlements (e.g. children under 18 who cannot be declared insured by a parent or grandparent).
Where can you use the EHIC?
You can use the EHIC in an EU/EFTA country other than your own as well as in the UK and Northern Ireland.
The card is also valid in the overseas territories:
- French: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, St Pierre-et-Miquelon and French Guiana,
- Portuguese: Azores and Madeira,
- Spanish: Mallorca and Canary Islands.
However, it is not valid in:
- Channel Islands and Isle of Man,
- Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.
Important! If you are not a citizen of an EU Member State, you cannot benefit from free treatment with an EHIC in the following countries: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Denmark.
Do you have to pay for the EHIC?
No. The EHIC is provided free of charge.
How to obtain the EHIC?
You can apply for the EHIC in five ways. Choose one:
By e-mail - only if you apply for the EHIC as an employee (travelling for work)
The following documents are required in order to issue the EHIC:
- a pupil/student ID card – confirms that you have continued your education when you have turned 18, are a pupil, student or doctoral student, and have been insured as a family member,
- A1 document – issued by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS) if you are travelling for work,
Important! The A1 document is issued by ZUS in electronic form. We need to check its authenticity. We do this by verifying the document on the ZUS website or by using electronic signature verification
- U2 document – issued by the employment service when you are travelling to look for work,
- authorisation – if you are applying on behalf of another person.
In other cases, we will confirm your entitlement to benefits ourselves, using data from our database. We will then issue your EHIC without any additional documents.
In exceptional cases, however, you may be asked to produce documents which prove that you are insured with the National Health Fund. Especially if you are not insured but are entitled under specific entitlements.
Are you insured? Your insurance is confirmed (as appropriate) by:
- a current certificate completed by the contribution payer (employer),
- a current certificate from the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS) stating that you are covered by health insurance in the National Health Fund (farmer),
- a current certificate from the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) stating that you are not in arrears with your contributions (self-employed persons),
- a pensioner’s card,
- a current certificate stating that you are receiving a pre-retirement benefit,
- a current certificate from the employment service (unemployed persons who are not covered by any other insurance scheme),
- a current certificate from the university stating that you are insured (students who are not covered by any other insurance scheme).
Are you insured as a family member? Your insurance is confirmed by:
- the application for insurance as a family member (ZUS ZCNA form if the application was made after 1 July 2008, or ZUS ZCZA if the application was made before 1 July 2008),
- a document confirming the entitlement to benefits of the insured person who registered the family member for insurance.
You are not insured but are entitled to benefits under special entitlements (pursuant to Article 2(1)(2)–(4) of the Act on publicly funded healthcare benefits)? Your entitlement is confirmed (as appropriate) by:
- a decision of the mayor of the municipality where you live,
- your identity document,
- a medical certificate from your doctor (dated no more than 30 days before the application), or a prenatal record,
- an abridged copy of your birth certificate,
- a document confirming your residence in the Republic of Poland or your declaration of residence in the Republic of Poland,
- a document confirming your refugee status or subsidiary protection or your temporary residence permit.
If you do not have the documents listed above, you can provide other documents. They must be issued by the competent authority and prove that you have paid your health insurance contributions.
20 years, if:
- you receive a pension and you have reached retirement age (60 years of age for women and 65 years of age for men)
Until you reach the age of 18 if:
- you are under 18 years of age and you are insured as a family member1) (the EHIC expires once you turn 18 years of age)
- you are under 18 years of age and you are insured under your insurance scheme2) or you are receiving a disability pension (the EHIC expires once you turn 18 years of age)
5 years, if:
- you receive a pension and you are under 60 years of age for women and 65 years of age for men
- you are under 18 years of age and you are not insured but you have Polish citizenship (the EHIC expires once you turn 18 years of age)
3 years, if:
- you are employed,
- you are self-employed,
- you are receiving a pre-retirement benefit.
18 months, if:
- you are receiving a disability pension and you are over 18 years of age,
- you are insured as a family member and you are over 18 years of age,
- you are insured as a student,
- you are a pupil, you are over 18 years of age and you are insured under your insurance scheme3)
6 months , if:
- you are employed on the basis of an agency contract, order contract or other contract for providing services,
- you work under a tolling contract.
6 months , if you are not insured but are entitled to benefits under special entitlements, namely:
- you are pregnant or about to give birth, you have Polish citizenship and you live in Poland,
- you are pregnant or about to give birth, you have refugee status or subsidiary protection or a temporary residence permit and you live in Poland,
- you are under 18 years of age, you live in Poland and you have refugee status or subsidiary protection or a temporary residence permit (the EHIC expires once you turn 18 years of age),
2 months, if:
- you are registered with the employment service as an unemployed person,
- you are an insured person not mentioned above or you are a person for whom the obligation of health insurance has not been fulfilled.
90 days, if:
- you are not insured, but you meet the income eligibility criterion for social welfare benefits, which is confirmed by a decision of e.g. a mayor4).
42 days, if:
- you are not insured, but you are recovering after a childbirth, you have Polish citizenship and you live in Poland.
1) This applies to persons referred to in Article 5(3)(a) of the Act of 27 August 2004 on publicly funded healthcare benefits.
2) This applies to persons referred to in Article 66(1)(17)–(19) of the Act of 27 August 2004 on publicly funded healthcare benefits.
3) This applies to persons referred to in Article 66(1)(17), (18) and (19) of the Act of 27 August 2004 on publicly funded healthcare benefits.
4) The entitlement arises from Article 54 of the Act on publicly funded healthcare benefits.
Am I entitled to receive treatment, if I have no EHIC?
If you have no EHIC, you may apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC).
This document entitles you to the same healthcare cover as EHIC. You will obtain the Certificate, if:
- you are entitled to healthcare services in Poland
- you are staying in another EU/EFTA Member State.
The Certificate may replace EHIC, if:
- you don’t have your EHIC with you
- you have lost your EHIC or it was stolen from you.
The Certificate is issued in the exceptional circumstances – when immediate treatment is necessary.
The Certificate in paper form can be sent by fax number or e-mail address of a medical facility specified in the application – upon scanning or making a photo.
How to obtain the Certificate?
- Download, complete and sign the application form available on our website. Template application form (PDF - 242 kb)
- Specify the dates, on which the healthcare services was provided to you or its starting date, if your treatment continues.
- Specify how to send the Certificate to you.
- Scan or make a photo of the application form and sent it to your National Health Fund branch.
- The Certificate will be issued for the duration of healthcare service – which means that its validity is limited.
If you are unable to download the application form from our website:
- Write a letter by hand, providing all data, which must be included in the application, that is your name, surname, address of residence, date of birth or personal ID, the time period, for which the Certificate is to be issued, declaration that all data contained in the application are accurate and entered lawfully and, possibly, your phone number.
- Sign the letter and send its scan or photo to your National Health Fund branch.
The Certificate will be issued within 5 working days, if we are able to confirm your right to healthcare services on the basis of data we hold. In case of failure to confirm data, we will ask you to provide us with documents confirming your healthcare insurance cover. If you are unable to submit the application by your own, ask a member of a medical facility personnel or any other person you are in contact with for help.
Please remember that you must authorise such person to submit the application on your behalf!