This year, the vast majority of French people who go on vacation abroad should stay within the borders of the European Union. For these travelers, the European Consumer Center (CEC) France reminds us that there is a key to remember when traveling within the Union: the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You can make a request on your personal space on the website of the National Health Insurance Fund (Ameli), in one of its reception points or by telephone on 36 46. In theory, receipt of this document at credit card format is done within ten days.

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“This card is only valid for unforeseen medical emergencies, whether in hospital or for a consultation with a doctor, warns Léa Jamet, lawyer at CEC France. It is a way of being identified as a social insured of a Member State and of access to health professionals under the same conditions and at the same rates as the inhabitants of the country visited and therefore to accelerate reimbursements on the spot. ” The systems are indeed different from one state to another, as are the rules of care. ” What is free in France is not necessarily free elsewhere and vice versa », She specifies.

Information desk

In the event of free care for the local insured, this, with the possible exception of the remainder to be paid, will also apply to the holder of the European card. If the service is chargeable, the latter must advance the costs. The card can allow reimbursement on the spot under the conditions of the country. If the card is forgotten, or if it was refused on site, it is also possible to request reimbursement from the health insurance on return to France with all the proofs (invoices, etc.) and a form concerning care received abroad (1). Reimbursement can then be made on the basis of French rules or those of the country where the care was provided, at the choice of the insured.

It should be noted that each country of the Union has set up an information desk which provides information on the rules for the coverage and reimbursement of care, state by state. In France, this is the Center for European and International Social Security Links ( Finally, it should be remembered that 112 is the free emergency telephone number (police, fire brigade, ambulance) unique to all of Europe.


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