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European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and overseas health insurance certificate

You can use the EHIC in most European countries

Two hands hold an electronic health insurance card

With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you can get necessary medical treatment immediately from a participating practitioner or in a participating hospital – based on the law in force in the country in question. 

This card is integrated on the back of your health care card. You pay the same contributions and additional payments as the citizens who are insured in that country. 

Reimbursement of costs

If you have had to pay for medical care abroad from a participating practitioner or participating hospital yourself because your European Health Insurance Card was not accepted, send us all of the invoice and treatment documents you have. Unfortunately full reimbursement is not possible in many cases. Outside of the EU countries, a refund is not possible at all in most cases. Often reimbursements cover no more than 30% of the invoiced amount. You frequently have to make additional payments – and sometimes these are significantly higher than those in Germany. In France, for example, you have to cover 20% of the overall costs of your hospital stay yourself. We are not permitted to reimburse these costs for you. For this reason, we strongly recommend taking out additional overseas travel health insurance. Our partner ERGO Direkt offers multi-award-winning overseas health insurance at a 10% discount.

Our SBK Overseas Consulting experts will be happy to inform you of the specific considerations that apply in your destination country.  

Overseas health insurance certificate

You need overseas health insurance certificates to get medical care in the following countries, where the European Health Insurance Card is not valid:

Exchange your overseas health insurance certificate for a treatment certificate when you receive medical care. Our SBK Overseas Consulting experts will advise you on how that works and who you can contact in that case. Please note that the overseas health insurance certificate will only cover immediately necessary emergency medical care from a recognised facility. For this reason, we strongly recommend taking out additional overseas travel health insurance. Our partner ERGO Direkt offers multi-award-winning overseas health insurance at a 10% discount.

You can print out overseas health insurance certificates from your personal online self-service branch, Meine SBK, before departing on your trip: log into/register for Meine SBK now 

Travel to countries outside of Europe

Medical treatment when travelling to non-European countries with which there is no social security agreement is not covered by German statutory health insurance, and therefore also not covered by SBK. The European Health Insurance Card is not valid in these countries. For travel to these countries, we strongly recommend taking out overseas travel health insurance, such as that offered by our partner ERGO Direkt.

More on this topic

SBK Overseas Consulting
Protective travel vaccinations
Overseas health insurance
Meine SBK