European Health Insurance Card VS Expatriate Health Insurance: what are the differences in Europe

European Health Insurance Card VS Expatriate Health Insurance: what are the differences in Europe

21 December 2021 Insurance

Our mission at Foyer Global Health is to provide you with health coverage abroad for your life plans, no matter which country you travel to. If you are specifically looking for health coverage in Europe, you will notice that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) also gives you access to health care in European territory. So, it’s difficult to navigate, when at first glance both solutions serve the same purpose: to cover your health in Europe. What is the difference in benefits between the EHIC and Expatriate health insurance? What is the best coverage? Let’s dig into this topic today!


The European Health Insurance Card is different from medical insurance

Even though the European Insurance Card provides coverage for medical care within the EU/EEA, it does not provide the same level of coverage as medical insurance. It is therefore not suitable for all situations abroad.

When should you use the EHIC?

The European Health Insurance Card is suitable for short and temporary stays in Europe. It can be used in the context of vacations, internships, business trips to a foreign country, without an urgent need for health coverage. In case of residence in a foreign country, the EHIC will no longer be valid.

What does the EHIC cover?

The EHIC coverage allows you to be covered in emergencies and unforeseen situations, as well as for medically necessary care (when the diagnosed medical problem directly endangers your health and requires prompt treatment). You will receive the same benefits and fees as those set by the public health insurance of the country you are staying in. Care prescribed in a private institution or a private doctor is not covered.

There is no comprehensive list of treatments covered by the European Health Insurance Card, but here are some well-known guidelines:

  • Emergency Room visit
  • Consultation with a doctor or a specialist following an accident
  • Pre-existing chronic diseases: access to the necessary care depending on the patient’s medical condition and the length of their stay.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth care. For childbirth abroad, you will need to request authorization by completing the S2 form.

Please note, the EHIC does not act as travel insurance. Repatriation, loss of baggage or cancellation of a flight are not part of the coverage.

What is the scope of the EHIC and how can you benefit from it?

This card is valid in the Member States of the European Union, as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. It is completely free, nominative and valid for 2 years. To receive it, all you have to do is apply to the social security organization in your country of residence.

How does reimbursement work?

There are different cases:

  • The service is free, so you will not have to pay in advance.
  • The service is not free of charge, you will have to make an advance payment and request reimbursement from the social security organization of your country of stay, or from your social security organization in your country of residence.

It is your choice which method is the most convenient for you. Of course, care that is free in your country of residence will not necessarily be free abroad.

Expatriate health insurance offers comprehensive medical coverage

International health insurance or Expatriate health insurance provides sufficient health coverage for people who are moving and living abroad.

When should you use international health insurance?

As mentioned, it is intended for expatriates and anyone planning to live abroad. It is therefore suitable for long stays or indefinite stays. It can be used for residence in the country you are staying in, and it makes sense if the insured is looking for long-term health insurance.

What does international health insurance cover?

International health insurance usually offers several levels of coverage so that the insured can find a plan that really suits them. It assists the insured throughout their medical journey, from a routine visit to major treatments and emergency situations.

The benefits Expatriate health insurance offers are as follows:

  • Outpatient and inpatient treatment
  • Emergency care
  • Consultation with a doctor and/or a specialist in the public or private sector
  • Pregnancy and childbirth care
  • Preventive medicine, routine check-ups
  • Dental and optical treatment

Foyer Global Health includes repatriation and evacuation in all of their plans.

What is the scope of International health insurance, how do you sign up for it?

Logically, expatriate health insurance covers the whole world. Foyer Global Health also covers visits in your home country and international travel outside the country of residence. The coverage is therefore designed to protect you wherever you are.

Purchasing international health insurance is at your own initiative. You can request a free quote to determine the pricing for your needs. Our sales teams are also available to advise and guide you in your choice of health coverage!

Request a quote

Simple products, huge benefits

We provide great health insurance products based on hundreds of clients’ feedback to make sure you always get reassurance from us that we insure you the best way possible.
Get a quote, with actionable options perfectly matching your needs.