European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a personal and non-transferable document that certifies the holder's entitlement  to receive any necessary medically-related health care benefits during their temporary stay  in the territory  of the European Economic Area (1)  or Switzerland, taking into account the type of the benefits and the duration of the stay, in accordance with the law of the relevant country, regardless of whether the purpose of the stay is a holiday, a professional activity or for studying.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid when the purpose of the trip is to receive medical treatment, in which case it is necessary for the National Social Security Institute (INSS), or the Social Marine Institute (ISM), to issue the corresponding form after receiving a favourable report from the Health Service.  Neither will the document be valid if  you change your residence  to the territory of a different member State.

In certain cases, you will have to pay a fixed amount or percentage of the healthcare expenses, in line with the conditions applicable to residents in the State to which you are travelling. These amounts are not reimbursable.

Further information is available at the following Internet address


Entitlement holders and their dependent beneficiaries who meet the requirements in accordance with Spanish law and Social Security Community Regulations.

Application and Renewal

Via the Internet, Social Security e-Office (, a digital certificate is not necessary to access this service.

Social Security Support and Information Centres (CAISS), requesting an appointment at the chosen CAISS, or in the Social Marine Institute (ISM) Provincial or Local Offices, when necessary to produce documentation proving the entitlement to export healthcare services.

Regardless of the chosen EHIC application form, this will be sent, in a period not longer than 10 days, to the address registered in the Social Security Database, so it is essential to have this information updated. It will never be given out at the office.

When the issue of the EHC is not possible, or if the travel is imminent, the EHC Card Provisional Substitute can be requested.


The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid for two years, until the expiry date shown. Use of the EHIC during its validity period is subject to the holder continuing to meet the requirements under which the card was issued. Nevertheless, expenses incurred may be recovered as undue benefits, pursuant to the provisions of article 76 of Regulation (EC) 883/04.

It is important that you ensure that you have an EHIC and that its validity period includes the planned return date before travelling to another country in the European Economic Area (1) or Switzerland. If not, request a new EHIC to guarantee your health care cover during your stay.

(1) States in which the EHC is valid:

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

Complementary Content