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Frequently asked questions – About EHICs

Yes, however, it is important to note that the EHIC does not cover your health care costs while abroad if you are travelling for the purpose to obtain treatment for a pre-existing illness or injury. Nor does the EHIC cover you for private sector health care providers.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) lets you get state healthcare within the EEA and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you are not going abroad to give birth.

If you are travelling to one of the EU and EEA countries, having an EHIC could prove invaluable should you need emergency medical treatment. However, the EHIC is more of a safety net than a substitute for travel insurance.

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (not including Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (including Gibraltar).

The quickest way is to apply online by accessing  the website via e-ID or by downloading the EHIC application by clicking here​, fill it up and send it by email to  or by post to Entitlement Unit, Ground Floor, Ex-Outpatients Block, St. Luke’s Hospital, G’Mangia Hill, G’Mangia, Malta.

You will receive your EHIC within 5 working days which  will usually be valid for 5 years. Each card covers just one person

Yes, however, it is vital to note that an EHIC is not a substitute for medical travel insurance designed to cover your existing condition or disability. The EHIC does not apply to private hospital care or treatment, and it does not cover repatriation costs to get you home.

The EHIC does not cover repatriation costs or other expenses such as lost baggage or travel delay.

The EHIC is valid for up to 5 years. You can renew an EHIC up to 3 months before the expiry date.  Renewing your card is free.  If EHIC is still valid, attach valid EHIC with application.

To apply for EHICs for children under the age of 16 years; download the EHIC application by clicking here, ​fill in parent’s details at top of form; in boxes for children fill in child’s details; parent’s signature at bottom of form. Write ‘Child only’ at top of form if EHIC is requested only for child and  send the EHIC application by email to  or by post to Entitlement Unit, Ground Floor, Ex-Outpatients Block, St. Luke’s Hospital, G’Mangia Hill, G’Mangia, Malta.

You may apply for a new EHIC by sending EHIC application together with police report stating that EHIC is lost/stolen.

If you are accessing healthcare at a public health entity you may:

Pay for your treatment and when you return to Malta you can present your original receipt and other relevant documents at the Entitlement Unit. The Entitlement Unit will start the process for you to get reimbursed,


Ask for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to prove your entitlement to medically necessary healthcare if you travel to Europe. The healthcare entity will communicate and provide the necessary information to your competent institution which will be responsible to issue the PRC.

FAQs – About Your Health Insurance Cover

Whenever certain conditions have to be fulfilled before you become entitled to health coverage, the national health insurance body examining your claim must take account of periods of insurance, residence or employment completed under the legislation of other EU countries. This ensures that you will not lose your healthcare coverage when changing jobs or moving to another country.
For example, in some countries, you may only become entitled to healthcare after 6 months of insurance there. EU rules ensure that you will be entitled to sickness benefits from the beginning of your insurance period there if you had previously been covered for 6 months or more in any other EU country (In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

As a cross-border worker, you can access healthcare either in the country where you live or in the country where you work. In many cases, it will be more practical for you to receive healthcare in the country where you work and where you spend most of your time.

When you are “posted” by your employer, or you “post” yourself as a self-employed person, to work in another EU country (In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), you will remain covered by your home country. If, during your posting, you decide to live permanently in the country where you are posted, you will be covered in the country where you are working using the S1 form.

NO – Students going abroad to study temporarily can use the EHIC issued to them by their home country. So, you don’t need to take out health insurance in the country where you are studying. However, you will need to take out health insurance in the country where you are studying if you:

  • become permanently resident in the country where you’re studying
  • start working in the country where you are studying

In the above cases EHIC issued from Malta is to be returned.

The EHIC allows you to obtain any medical treatment that you need while you are temporarily studying in another EU country (such as emergency treatment). It gives students access to whatever medical treatment is necessary, depending on the nature of the medical care and the expected length of time abroad. It is up to the healthcare provider to define what types of treatment are medically “necessary”.
You should be aware that you may only use your EHIC at public healthcare providers, as it does not cover healthcare provided privately.

The country which deals with your healthcare is the country which pays your pension. If you receive a pension from more than one country and one of them is the country where you live, this country will be responsible for your healthcare coverage, and that of your family members.
If you do not receive a pension or any other income from the country where you live, you and your family will receive medical treatment there if you would be entitled to medical treatment in the country that pays your pension.

As a pensioner settling in another EU country, you have full access to healthcare in your new country of residence, on the same terms as nationals of that country. You should ask for an S1 form (from your national health insurance body) in the country that pays your pension. You should then register using this form with the health insurance body in your new country of residence.

You will receive treatment as if you were insured in your new country of residence, under the same conditions as nationals there. However, that does not necessarily mean you will have access to exactly the same services as in your home country. Healthcare services differ significantly across the EU, as each country decides its healthcare system. Make sure you contact the relevant national authorities before moving abroad to ask for information about your rights and obligations in your new country of residence.

If you travel to other countries or the country which you remain subject to, you can use an EHIC to receive any medical treatment that becomes medically necessary during your stay there.


FAQs – About S2

A citizen requests Treatment Abroad under the provisions of Regulations 883/04. A request for prior authorisation is endorsed by a Consultant Working at MDH and is sent for approval to Treatment Abroad Committee. The Committee’s decision will be communicated to the patient by the Treatment Abroad Team. If the request is approved the cost of treatment will be covered. The Treatment Abroad Team will assist with logistical arrangement.

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This page was last updated on 27 November 2019