The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is the passport to free or reduced emergency necessary cost for medical treatment in public hospitals needed during temporary visits in European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. The purpose of the EHIC is to facilitate access to medical care during the holder's temporary stay in another Member State and to speed up reimbursement of the costs incurred. The EHIC is free and complements private insurance but is not a substitute for it. Private insurance is highly recommended. For more detailed information about the EHIC click here.