The European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card officially documents that you are entitled to coverage of medically necessary healthcare in another EEA country under the same conditions as that country's own nationals. You should carry the card if you will be staying temporarily in another EEA country or Switzerland.

Foto: Morten Rakke / Helfo

It is important that you know what the card entitles you to. Read this page for more information.

Who is entitled to a European Health Insurance Card?

If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and a national of either Norway or another EEA country, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card.

As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, European Health Insurance Cards issued from Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein will for the time being apply in the UK. British citizens visiting Norway can also use their European Health Insurance Cards.

Pensioners who have moved to another EEA country may also entitled to a European Health Insurance Card. Find out about entitlement to a European Health Insurance Card as a pensioner here (in Norwegian).

Entitlement to a European Health Insurance Card also applies in many cases to family members who do not themselves have citizenship of an EU/EEA country. In this context, family means spouses, children under 18, dependent children over 18 and cohabitants who have or have had children together. Be aware that each family member must carry their own personal card. 

Persons who are stateless or have refugee status may also be entitled to a European Health Insurance Card.

If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, but are not entitled to a European Health Insurance Card, you may still be entitled to healthcare coverage during temporary stays in other EEA countries. This may be the case if you are a student and have a loan from the State Educational Loan Fund, and if you are a posted worker. You may be entitled to extended benefits. In certain cases, NAV may have to decide whether you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. In that case, Helfo will ask you to contact them.

Contact Helfo if you are unsure about whether you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card or coverage of healthcare abroad. Call Veiledning helsenorge.no (user service) at phone number 23 32 70 00. Fax from abroad: +47 33 51 22 89.

Note that in many cases, the European Health Insurance Card is issued in a paper version instead of a plastic card.

What rights does the card grant the holder?

The European Health Insurance Card only entitles you to medically necessary healthcare from a hospital and/or doctor affiliated with the state-provided health service in the country in which you are staying. You are entitled to coverage on the same terms as the country's nationals and you must pay the same user fees as the country's nationals.

Be aware that the standard of treatment may vary from one country to the next. You cannot automatically expect to receive the same treatment as you would in Norway.

Determination of what constitutes medically necessary treatment, and your entitlements under the European Health Insurance Card, must take into account what type of healthcare service is required and how long you are intending to stay in the country. You are entitled to the healthcare services that are deemed necessary from a medical perspective for you to continue your stay in the country you are visiting.

A European Health Insurance Card may entitle you to certain necessary nursing and care services in accordance with the rules in the country you travel to. You will need to contact the authorities in the country you are travelling to or staying in for information about the rules that apply.

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

When does the card not apply?

The European Health Insurance Card does not entitle you to coverage of expenses if you travel abroad with the intention of receiving medical treatment.

The card is normally valid for three years if you are still a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

You have an obligation to notify Helfo of changes that may affect your right to use the card. Please contact us if you are unsure.

In the event of misuse of the card, the cardholder will be held liable for loss to the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

Additional private travel insurance

Helfo recommends that you take out private travel insurance in addition to your European Health Insurance Card. In many countries, the state will not cover medical expenses in full. This may also apply to hospital stays.

The European Health Insurance Card does not cover expenses on travelling home if you become ill or have been injured in an accident. Private travel insurance insures you against expenses not covered by the country you are staying in, or the cost of returning home in the event of an illness or accident.

Only valid in the EEA or Switzerland

As the name implies, the European Health Insurance Card cannot be used outside the EEA or Switzerland. It is also not valid on Svalbard.

As a general rule, the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme will not cover expenses on healthcare services during tourist stays outside of the EEA or Switzerland. You should therefore take out private travel insurance for any such trips.

If the European Health Insurance Card is not accepted

If the hospital or institution where your are receiving treatment does not recognize or will not accept your European Health Insurance Card, you must pay out of pocket and make sure you get an original itemised bill, an original receipt and documentation of the treatment.

This also applies if you have forgotten to use your European Health Insurance Card, or if you have been treated at a hospital and/or treatment provider not affiliated with the public health service. Find out more about the types of healthcare you can be reimbursed for if you have been treated privately (in Norwegian).

If you have not taken a card with you abroad but need medical care during your trip, Helfo can, where appropriate, issue an emergency form called a Provisional Replacement Certificate. In that case, we send the Provisional Replacement Certificate to the treatment centre where you are located. A Provisional Replacement Certificate is a paper-based version of the European Heath Insurance Card and grants you the same rights.

If you need a Provisional Replacement Certificate, you must contact Helfo during office hours, which are Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 15:30. The Provisional Replacement Certificate can also be issued with retroactive effect.

Helfo can be contacted from outside Norway as follows:

  • Phone: +47 23 32 70 00
  • Fax: +47 33 51 22 89

When you return home, you can apply for reimbursement from Helfo. Fill out and send in

​«Application for reimbursement of healthcare services received in another EEA country/Switzerland (05-24a.10)» English 

Send the form to: Helfo, Postboks 2415, 3104 Tønsberg.

The application form must be sent to Helfo within 6 months of each individual treatment date.

Delivery time

It will take up to ten days from when you order the European Health Insurance Card from Helfo until you receive it by post.

How to obtain the card

You can order a European Heath Insurance Card here at helsenorge.no or by calling Veiledning helsenorge.no (user service) at +47 23 32 70 00.

How to order a European Health Insurance Card:

The card will be sent to the address where you are registered in the Norwegian National registry.

Ordering the European Health Insurance Card with a temporary national identification number

If you have a temporary national identification number (D-number), you cannot order the Health Insurance Card here.

In this case you can use an application form, or you can call Veiledning helsenorge.no (user service) at +47 23 32 70 00..

If you want to use the application form, fill out and send in

«Order form for European Health Insurance Card if you have a D-number (883-2004.01)» English

to Helfo, Postboks 2415, 3104 Tønsberg.