The European Health Insurance Card
As of 1 June 2004, European citizens travelling within the European Economic Area (European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland, whether for private or professional reasons, are being issued with a European Health Insurance Card, which simplifies the procedure for receiving any medical assistance that might become necessary during a temporary stay in another country.
You should not travel to a Member State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland without your European Health Insurance Card or equivalent document. During your stay, these documents will facilitate access to health care, which will be provided in accordance with the legislation of the State of stay (for example, in some countries you will receive free health care).
If you have to pay any costs up front, these documents guarantee reimbursement of health care costs locally or very soon after your return home.
It is obligatory for your health institution to issue a European Health Insurance Card or equivalent document at your request.