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European Health Insurance Card sees Changes

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa ()  | Tags: EHIC, European Health Insurance Card, European Union Law, Ireland

Issuing of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be the responsibility of the state of residence of a person linked to the Social Security System of an EU Member State. This change in the European Law becomes effective on 01 May 2010. The European Commission (EC) has as one of its objectives the free movement of people within the European Union (EU). Workers and pensioners who are linked to the Social Security System of any State can receive healthcare in any other Member State at the cost of the home State. Holders of the European Health Insurance Card EHIC are entitled to necessary healthcare in the public system of any EU/EEA (European Economic Area ) Member State and Switzerland, should they become ill or injured whilst on a temporary stay in that country. Up until now, an entitled person would be issued with an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by the state of residence. Once the new law takes effect, the State where a person is paying to or benefiting from the Social Security System will be responsible for issuing the EHIC in cases where that person resides in another EU/EEA State. As an example of this upcoming change, from 01 May 2010 the Health Service Executive (HSE) will have to issue the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for all Irish insured persons or pensioners and their dependants resident in other member States. Meaning that a retired person receiving a contributory pension from the Department of Social Welfare living in Spain will have the EHIC issued by the Irish authorities, and not by the Spanish authorities as it is the case now. Relieving the issuance of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by the state of residence of an entitled person may help resolve misunderstandings related to the entitlement of services in other countries, such as the case of Spanish Doctors calling for a re-evaluation of the EHIC scheme. Organisation mentioned: Health Service Executive With an annual budget of over €15 billion, the HSE is one of Ireland's largest purchasers of supplies and services. The HSE produces a wide range of reports and publications on health issues and developments, including Annual Reports, Guidelines for Nursing Home Subventions and Local Health Office Guides. The HSE also operates a major online repository of health-related reports, research and official publications from the HSE, former Health Boards and other health agencies.
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