Know before you go
You have the right to receive medical treatment in another EU Member State and the right to have your home country cover some or all of the costs. You have the right to be informed about the treatment options open to you, how other EU countries ensure quality and safety in healthcare, and whether a particular provider is legally entitled to offer services.
Check your treatment plans with your health professional:Find out more
- It is highly recommended that you discuss your planned treatment with your doctor before committing to anything.
Plan your trip thoroughlyFind out more
- Research your treatment options.
- Make sure you have a copy of your medical records, information on any medicines you are taking, and any relevant test results.
- Check whether you will need a referral from a general practitioner to access (or be reimbursed for) specialist care.
- Check the details of your healthcare provider.
Check the financial implications with your National Contact Point or insurerFind out more
- Make sure you know how much your treatment will cost and whether your authorities will pay the costs directly, or will reimburse you some or all of the costs.
- Check any requirements for pre-treatment authorisation.
- Remember that some costs (travel, accommodation, repatriation, etc.) may not be covered.
Make sure you get the medical followup you needFind out more
- Arrange to get a copy of your record from your healthcare provider.
- If you get a prescription make sure it is suitable for cross-border use (EU law prescribes certain minimum content to make sure that prescriptions can be recognised in every country).
- Arrange appropriate medical followup with your home system (in advance if necessary).
Your right to have the costs of treatment covered
- If you are entitled to a particular treatment in your home country, then you have a right to be reimbursed when you receive it in another country.
- Your level of reimbursement will be up to the costs of that treatment in your home country.
- You may choose whichever healthcare provider you wish, whether public or private.
- For some treatments (certain in-patient or highly specialised services) you may be required to get authorisation from your own health system before receiving the treatment abroad.
- If you are facing a medically unjustifiable waiting time for treatment at home then authorisation must be granted. In this case, you may even be entitled to a higher level of coverage for your healthcare costs.
In your home country
Your home country is responsible for the financial aspects of your cross-border healthcare (where you have a right to have your costs covered). It must also provide appropriate medical support before and after you go.
Your country will have set up one or more contact points where you can receive more details on your rights, including which healthcare services you are entitled to. These contact points can also tell you if you need to apply for authorisation before receiving treatment, and how to appeal if you think your rights have not been respected.
Your home health system must provide you with a copy of your medical records to take abroad with you. Once you have received your treatment, it must provide the same follow-up care it would have provided if you had been treated at home.
In the country where you are seeking treatment
If you are to receive medical treatment in another EU country, you have the same rights as a citizen of that country, and your treatment will be subject to the same rules and standards.
The country where you are to receive treatment will also have set up one or more contact points to provide information on the quality and safety systems of that country, and on how healthcare providers are supervised and regulated. These contact points can confirm that the healthcare provider you have chosen has a right to provide that particular service. They can also explain the rights of patients in the country of treatment.
- Annex no. 1 - Medical report of the patient requesting prior authorization for the reimbursement of costs for cross-border healthcare
- Annex no. 2 - Prior authorization for the reimbursement of costs for cross-border healthcare
- Annex no. 3 – Calculation of the reimbursement level for cross –border healthcare
- Annex no. 4 - Application for budget provision request
The healthcare provider you have chosen must tell you about the different treatment options available to you.
They must tell you about the quality and safety of the healthcare they provide (including their authorisation or registration status, and liability insurance arrangements).
They must provide you with clear information on prices, so you know in advance what your costs will be. Finally, they will provide you with a copy of your treatment record to take back to your home system.