What should you do?

Always contact your health insurer first

Do this in time. Your health insurer should let you know what the most favourable option is for treatment in another EU country. Healthcare in accordance with the rules of the Regulation or in accordance with the rules of the Directive? 

Regulation (European Regulation 883/2004)
Are you going to be treated in another EU country in accordance with the rules of the Regulation? In any case, you will need prior authorisation from your health insurer. Please contact your health insurance company well in advance. They will let you know how to apply. Your health insurance company will therefore have plenty of time to assess your application. 

If your health insurer agrees, you will receive a document S2. With that document, you will show to the healthcare provider in the other EU country that you are entitled to treatment. But also that your health insurance company will reimburse the costs.

Does your health insurer not agree? Then you may be entitled to a treatment under the rules of Directive 2011/24/EU (see below). In that case, you will have to pay the costs yourself first. Your health insurance company decides how much you get reimbursed.

Directive (Directive 2011/24/EU)
In accordance with the rules of the Directive, you may also need to obtain prior authorisation from your health insurer. Don't you do that and you get yourself treated? Then you run the risk that your health insurer will not reimburse the costs. 
Perhaps your health insurance company also has a contract with the healthcare provider abroad. Your health insurance company can tell you what to do.

Information to be provided by your health insurer
Your health insurer must also provide you with information in advance about: 

  • the conditions for permission;
  • how your costs will be reimbursed; and
  • what you must think about if you want a treatment in another EU country.

Please note

You cannot use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you go to another EU country to get treatment.The EHIC is not intended for this. You can only use the EHIC if you need medical care if you are already in that other country. For example, if you're on holiday. On the website of the European Commission you'll see for each country what you need to do if you need medical care and what healthcare you are entitled to.


Plan your trip thoroughly

Ask for information in advance about the foreign healthcare provider and the possibilities for treatment. Make sure that the treatment is safe and of good quality in that country. 

Your medical file
Make sure that the foreign healthcare provider knows your medical file. Your Dutch healthcare provider must give you a copy. Or give you access to your file in another way. Of course, he can also send this information to his foreign colleague himself. 

Please also note that you also take back all medical information about the foreign treatment to the Netherlands. For example, your Dutch doctor may continue your treatment if necessary. If necessary, take measures to undergo follow-up treatment in the Netherlands. 

Costs you need to pay yourself
Don't forget to ask your health insurance company what costs you have to pay yourself. For example, travel and accomodation costs, own contributions, but also costs for translations.

More information
More information is available on the websites of the:

Toolbox for patients

For patients wishing to go to another EU country for medical treatment, the European Commission has made a toolbox. This toolbox has information on everything related to cross-border care. For example, European legislation on cross-border care. Or practical things to think about if you want to be treated in another EU country. 

The toolbox consists of a manual and several documents. These include a glossary, a checklist and an overview of frequently asked questions and answers. You’ll find this information on the right-hand side of page 'More about treatment in another EU country', under “Documents”.

The European Commission has also made a short video. This video shows what you need to pay attention to when you are treated in another EU country. A link to the video can be found on the right-hand side of page 'More about treatment in another EU country', under "See also".

Last modified on 03 January 2022