Using your European Health Insurance Card in Italy


When you’re planning your dream holiday to Italy, it’s likely that culture and cuisine will be at the forefront of your mind. But it’s always wise to give at least a little thought to what would happen if you had a medical emergency during your stay. So here’s a basic guide to how you can use your European Health Insurance Card should you need Italian healthcare. If you still need to get yours, you can apply for your EHIC here today.

Is my EHIC valid in Italy?

Yes. Italy has a state-funded system and your health card will entitle you to the same treatment as Italian residents. There is a charge for some services, but if they are free for Italian residents they are free for EHIC holders. Where possible, it’s advisable to clarify any costs before treatment begins.

Can I use my EHIC at a doctor’s surgery in Italy?

Your health card will be valid if you visit a doctor who works for the Italian national health service, which is called Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN).

Can I use my EHIC to obtain hospital treatment in Italy?

Your health card will be valid in all public SSN hospitals. The local health authority, which is called the Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL), will be able to tell you if there are any private hospitals in the area that accept the EHIC.

Can I use my EHIC to seek dental services in Italy?

Dental care is not part of the SSN, so it’s unlikely you will be able to use your health card for this purpose. However, in some circumstances you may be able to see a dentist working at an SSN hospital or ASL health centre.

Can I use my EHIC to cover maternity care in Italy?

As long as you didn’t make your trip with the intention of giving birth in Italy, your health card should be valid for routine maternity care.

Can I use my EHIC to continue medical care in Italy?

Your card can, in theory, be used for ongoing treatments such as chemotherapy, oxygen therapy and dialysis. But this service is subject to availability and appointments must be arranged several weeks in advance.

Photo: Italy by Moyan_Brenn licensed under Creative commons 2