An EHIC is a free of charge European Health Insurance Card. You use the EHIC if you become ill during your holiday or temporary stay in another country. The EHIC is valid in the EU (including the Netherlands), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Applying for an EHIC

You can request an EHIC from us if you:
  • are registered with the CAK as a treaty-entitled person and; 
  • reside in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.  
By treaty-entitled persons we mean registered pensioners and beneficiaries (and family members) and family members of employees.

You apply for an EHIC using the online application form.

Every year you receive a new EHIC if you are still treaty-entitled. We'll automatically send it to you at the beginning of October if you have applied for the card in the previous 2 years. If not, you need to apply for the EHIC online. This is possible from October 15th.

How does applying for an EHIC work?

  1. You complete the application form.
  2. You receive a confirmation by email within 24 hours.
  3. We process your application.
  4. We contact you if there is a problem while processing it.
  5. We keep you informed about the progress of your application by email.
  6. You receive your (new) EHIC by post within 3 weeks.

You can start using your EHIC as soon as you receive it. The expiry date is indicated on the EHIC.

Entitlement to healthcare with an EHIC

You can use the EHIC when you are on holiday or staying temporarily in one of the following countries: all EU-countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

You can also use the EHIC in the Netherlands, but not in your country of residence. There you should use your local health insurance card.

You will only receive necessary medical care in the country where you are on holiday or staying temporarily. This applies only to countries where the EHIC is valid: EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, United Kingdom and Switzerland. You'll get the healthcare according to the rules in that country.

On the website of the European Commission you can read what kind of medical care is refunded in each country. You will also find information on what you need to do to obtain a refund.

The Netherlands

In the Nederlands you are not only entitled to necessary medical care, but also to healthcare that is covered by Dutch basis health insurance.

Do you live in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom? If so, you are entitled to medical care in the Netherlands. You do not need to request permission. That means you can also come to the Netherlands specifically to receive treatment. In the Netherlands you can use the EHIC that you received from us.


Bear in mind that to receive care under the Long-Term Care Act (Wlz) you need a care assessment decision. You can request such a decision from the Care Assessment Centre (Centrum indicatiestelling zorg - CIZ - only in Dutch). You can do this before you come to the Netherlands or during your (temporary) stay here.

More information

Read more on I want to go to the the Netherlands for medical treatment

On the website of Zilveren Kruis you'll find information on which healthcare is covered and what you need to do to get a refund. 

Information for retirees and beneficiaries (

Information for family members of cross-border workers (

Healthcare in private clinics is generally not refunded. Such care is often not included in a country’s statutory insurance package. For example in Spain. Healthcare in a private clinic is not part of the healthcare insurance package there. In such a case you will receive an invoice that you will have to pay yourself. The same applies to medical care on a cruise ship. Those private healthcare providers (clinics or doctors) will not accept the EHIC as a means of paying for your healthcare. The CAK is also unable to refund those costs to you retrospectively. You therefore have to pay those costs yourself.

Personal contribution for healthcare abroad

In many countries you have to pay a personal contribution. You cannot pay this by using your EHIC. You will have to cover those personal contributions (or personal payments) yourself. We will not refund them to you.

Health insurance packages are different in each country. Ask in your country of residence whether you can take out separate insurance or travel insurance to cover any extra costs.

Please note

For medical care in your country of residence, use the insurance card of your health insurance fund. You cannot use your EHIC.

You have an EHIC and have incurred costs that are covered by EHIC care. It happens that healthcare providers abroad (e.g. a doctor or pharmacy) do not accept an EHIC. You will then have to pay directly to the healthcare provider. In that case you can claim back the costs from us. Please use the form Declaration costs of medical care of a treaty-entitled person (7-10-2021, pdf, 935 kB).

Which documents do I need to enclose?

Enclose the following documents with your claim.

  • The original invoices you paid.
  • Referrals and/or prescriptions from the doctor.

Which costs can I not claim from the CAK?

You can only claim costs from us that you have incurred in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland or the United Kingdom. In all other situations the following applies:

  • Costs incurred by your family members in all other countries you can possibly claim from the health insurance fund in their country of residence or from your travel insurer.
  • Any costs your family members incur in their country of residence you need to claim from the health insurance fund in that country.
  • Costs incurred while you are on holiday on a cruise ship are private healthcare costs. You may be able to claim these from your travel insurer.
  • Costs incurred in the Netherlands you need to claim from:

Zilveren Kruis
Groep Buitenlands Recht
Postbus 650

For more information, see the website of Zilveren Kruis.

Please note

Do you have health insurance in the Netherlands? Apply before departure for a form 111 if your co-insured family members at the CAK live in other treaty countries such as Turkey. 

Have your family members still had to pay their own medical expenses? You can claim those costs from the CAK. The CAK lets you know whether these costs will still be refunded or whether you still have to pay them (partly) yourself.

Are you travelling to another EU country for a medical treatment? Then you can not use your EHIC. In that case you first need to ask permission from the healthcare fund in your country of residence.

Read more on I want to go abroad for medical treatment

Are you going to the Netherlands, especially for a medical treatment? In that case the rules are different.

Read more on I want to go to the Netherlands for medical treatment

General information

The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. The EHIC does not cover private healthcare or costs such as repatriation (the journey back home) or lost/stolen property. Furthermore, you cannot use the EHIC if you are travelling to another country for medical treatment. To do so, you must always ask permission from your own health insurance fund first.

‚ÄčOn the European Commission website you can search by country where you can use your EHIC. You'll also see what kind of healthcare will be refunded.

Please note
The EHIC is not valid in your country of residence.

Did you not receive the EHIC yet? Or have you lost your EHIC?

Please contact us via our contact form or phone +31 88 711 5551.

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