European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card is documentation of your right to coverage for necessary healthcare when you are staying temporarily in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, on the same conditions as citizens of that country. You should therefore always have your card with you when travelling in these countries.

Picture of a European Health Insurance Card.

Please read the information on this page before applying for a European Health Insurance Card. We recommend this because

  • it is important that you know what rights you have with the card
  • not everyone is entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway

 

The European Health Insurance Card is available as a plastic card and in a paper version. The card cannot be obtained digitally.

Do you have citizenship from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland?

The vast majority of people who have citizenship from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card.

If you are a member of the National Insurance Scheme in Norway and are a citizen either of Norway or another EU/EEA country, or Switzerland, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway.

If you are a pensioner who has moved to another EU/EEA country, you may also be entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway. Read more about pensioners' entitlement to a European Health Insurance Card.

If you are entitled to the European Health Insurance Card, your family members may also be entitled. Read more under "Family members".

Contact Guidance Helsenorge

Contact Guidance Helsenorge if you are not sure whether you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card or coverage for healthcare services abroad:

  • Telephone: +47 23 32 70 00
  • Fax: +47 33 34 73 73

Do you have citizenship from a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland?

In principle, citizens of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland are not entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway, but there are some exceptions.

If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you cannot in principle obtain a European Health Insurance Card from Norway. Although most EU countries issue European Health Insurance Cards to their residents regardless of citizenship, this does not apply to Norway, which is an EEA country with different regulations.

The following groups may be entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway even if they do not have citizenship from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland:

  • stateless persons
  • persons with refugee status
  • UK nationals who have been resident in Norway since before 31 December 2020 or have an S1 certificate from Norway
  • family members of persons entitled to a European Health Insurance Card

If you are not entitled to a European Health Insurance Card, you may still be entitled to reimbursement of your healthcare expenses during temporary stays in other EU/EEA countries. Read more under "Have you had to pay for an examination or treatment?".

Are you a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and are a student or posted worker in an EU/EEA country other than Norway? If so, you may be entitled to cover. Read more about being a student in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland and being a posted worker in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

Family members

Your family members may also be entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway.

Family in this context means

  • spouse
  • estranged spouse
  • children under the age of 18 for whom you have parental responsibility
  • children over the age of 18 who you support
  • cohabitants who have or have had children together

You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card for children under the age of 18 for whom you have parental responsibility. As a general rule, other family members must apply themselves.

Please note that each family member must bring their own card with them during temporary stays in other EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. 

Family members with citizenship from countries outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland

If you have family members with citizenship from countries outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, they may also be entitled to the European Health Insurance Card if

  • you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card
  • they are members of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme

Family members who live in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland

Family members living in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway if they have certificate S1 from Norway.

For information on how to apply for such family members, go to "How to apply for the European Health Insurance Card".

Contact Guidance Helsenorge

Contact Guidance Helsenorge if you are not sure whether you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card or coverage for healthcare services abroad:

  • Telephone: +47 23 32 70 00
  • Fax: +47 33 34 73 73

What entitlement do you have with a European Health Insurance Card?

The European Health Insurance Card entitles you to coverage for necessary medical treatment at a hospital and/or by a therapist affiliated with the public health service in the country in which you are staying.

You are entitled to coverage on the same terms as the country's citizens, and you must pay the same user fees as them. Helfo does not pay reimbursement for these user fees.

You cannot expect the treatment you receive to be the same as you would receive in Norway. Please note that the standard of treatment may vary from country to country.

When assessing what constitutes necessary treatment and your entitlement with the European Health Insurance Card, account shall be taken of the type of health service concerned and how long your stay is intended to last. You are entitled to the healthcare services that are necessary so that you can continue your stay in the country you are visiting, in full medical safety.

The European Health Insurance Card may entitle you to certain necessary nursing and care services in accordance with the rules of the country you are visiting. You must independently contact the country where you are staying to find out what rules apply.

The European Health Insurance Card does not entitle you to coverage of expenses if the purpose of your trip is to receive medical treatment.

Changes to your right to use the European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card is normally valid for three years. Even if the time period on the card has not expired, you are only entitled to use the card if you are still a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

You are obliged to notify Helfo of changes that might affect your right to use the card. Changes you must report include, for example, if you no longer work in Norway or move to another country. Contact Guidance Helsenorge if you are in doubt.

In the event of misuse of the European Health Insurance Card, the person to whom the card belongs can be held liable for the losses incurred by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

Contact Guidance Helsenorge

Contact Guidance Helsenorge if you are not sure whether you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card or coverage for healthcare services abroad:

  • Telephone: +47 23 32 70 00
  • Fax: +47 33 34 73 73

The European Health Insurance Card only applies in the EU/EEA, Switzerland and the UK

The European Health Insurance Card cannot be used outside the EU/EEA, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

As a general rule, the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme does not cover expenses for healthcare services during tourist trips outside the EU/EEA, Switzerland or the UK. You should therefore purchase travel insurance for such trips.

From 1 January 2024, a new social security agreement between the United Kingdom and Norway applies. If you travel to the United Kingdom as a tourist, you can again use the European Health Insurance Card there.

Please note that British citizens who have a European Health Insurance Card from Norway cannot use this in Switzerland.

Click here for an overview of where you can use the European Health Insurance Card (only in Norwegian).

You should take out travel insurance in addition to the European Health Insurance Card

Helfo recommends that you take out travel insurance, in addition to having the European Health Insurance Card.

Your healthcare entitlements under the EEA Agreement are limited. It is therefore important to have private travel insurance in addition to the European Health Insurance Card.

In many countries, the public sector does not fully reimburse healthcare expenses. This may also apply to hospital admissions.

The European Health Insurance Card does not cover expenses for travel home when you have become ill or have suffered an accident. Travel insurance will provide coverage for expenses not covered by the country you are visiting, or expenses for travel home.

Helfo can issue an emergency form if necessary

If you have forgotten to bring your European Health Insurance Card with you, but need healthcare during your trip, Helfo may issue an emergency form.

It is important to bring your European Health Insurance Card with you when travelling.

However, if you have forgotten to bring the card, Helfo may issue an emergency form to you or the institution where you are receiving treatment. An emergency form is a paper version of the European Health Insurance Card, and gives you the same rights as the European Health Insurance Card.

If you need an emergency form, contact Guidance Helsenorge during opening hours from Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 15.30. An emergency form may also be issued retroactively. This means that you can obtain an emergency decision regarding treatment you have already received, as long as you have not paid for the treatment.

You can contact Guidance Helsenorge from abroad in the following ways:

  • telephone: +47 23 32 70 00
  • fax: +47 33 34 73 73

Have you had to pay for an examination or treatment?

You can apply to Helfo for reimbursement if you have had to pay for an examination or treatment in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

If the institution where you are receiving treatment does not recognise or accept your European Health Insurance Card, and you have to pay for the examination/treatment yourself, you can apply to Helfo for reimbursement of your expenses. Make sure you obtain an invoice, receipt and documentation of the treatment provided, and attach this to your application.

You can also apply to Helfo for reimbursement if you have forgotten to use your European Health Insurance Card, or if you have been treated at a hospital and/or by a therapist not affiliated with the public health service. For treatment in Switzerland, you are only entitled to reimbursement if the therapist is affiliated with the public health service.

Read more about the types of healthcare that might be covered.

Log in to Helfo's digital form and apply for a refund of expenses (only in Norwegian)

 

Deadline for submitting an application

You must send the application form and documentation to Helfo within 6 months of each treatment date. If you have not settled on the spot but paid later, we calculate the deadline from the payment date.

Paper form

If you are unable to use our digital form, you can send a paper form instead.

Fill in and send the following form to Helfo, P.O. Box 2415, N-3104 Tønsberg, Norway:

How to apply for the European Health Insurance Card

If you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card from Norway, it is easy to apply digitally. You can also call by phone for help with your application.

You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card in the following ways:

The card will be sent to your address registered with the National Population Register.

It normally takes up to 10 working days from the date you have applied for the European Health Insurance Card from Helfo until it is delivered to your mailbox.

On behalf of others

If you log in to Helsenorge, you can apply for children under the age of 18 for whom you have parental responsibility. Keep in mind that when applying for children, you must use the same application form that applies to you. If you have applied for children for whom you have parental responsibility, the card will be sent to the child's address registered in the National Population Register.

Children over the age of 18, a spouse or cohabitant, must apply themselves. If parents/guardians are to apply for the European Health Insurance Card for children over the age of 18, they must have a power of attorney to do so.

Foster parents can apply for the European Health Insurance Card for foster children who are registered in the National Population Register on the same address as themselves. Applying must be done by calling Guidance Helsenorge on +47 23 32 70 00.

If you wish to apply for someone who is not able to use the self-service system, such as elderly parents, please call Guidance Helsenorge on +47 23 32 70 00. The person in question must either be present during the call to confirm his or her identity, or you must have a power of attorney.

Click here to read more about power of attorney and find the power of attorney form (only in Norwegian).

Family members without a Norwegian national ID number

Do you have certificate S1 that also covers your spouse or children, and they need a European Health Insurance Card from Norway?

In certain cases, you have to call Guidance Helsenorge on +47 23 32 70 00 for help to apply for the European Health Insurance Card for your child/spouse. It is not possible to apply for the European Health Insurance Card via Helsenorge for

  • children/spouses who do not have a Norwegian ID number (national identity number or D-number)
  • children/spouses who are covered by your S1 certificate, or have their own S1 certificate

Employees not listed in the State Register of Employers and Employees (Aa-register)

A small number of employers and contractors are exempt from the obligation to report to the State Register of Employers and Employees. If this applies to your employer, Helfo will not have access to the necessary information about your employment.

You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card by completing and submitting this form:

Send the form to Helfo, P.O. Box 2415, N-3104 Tønsberg, Norway.

Content provided by Helfo

Helfo. European Health Insurance Card. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Friday, January 5, 2024 [retrieved Saturday, February 24, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/health-rights-tourist-abroad/the-european-health-insurance-card/

Last updated Friday, January 5, 2024