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Unplanned treatment in another EU country

We will explain to you below what is understood as unplanned treatment and why it is important to distinguish between planned and unplanned treatment.

Unplanned treatment during a temporary stay in another EU country can take place for instance if

- You are temporarily in another EU country as a tourist, student, seconded employee, or because of other employment, and need to seek medical treatment because of acute symptoms,

- You have had an accident and have to be taken to a hospital in another EU country as an emergency case,

- You suffer from a chronic disease or are pregnant and need medical treatment, including medicines, during a temporary stay.

All of these cases have in common that they are unforeseen or that the treatment cannot be postponed to the period prior to or after your stay in the other EU country for material or medical reasons. This is particularly the case in the event of emergencies or acute pain. The actual reason for your stay may never be the medical treatment per se. It is only then that it is regarded as unplanned and can be charged via the European Health Insurance Card. Treatment is also considered to be unplanned if you are pregnant and only wish to give birth in another country because you would like to take advantage of family assistance or that of the child’s father before, during and after the birth. In this case, the main purpose of entering another country is to return to your family, and not simply giving birth per se.

EU law provides for different legal entitlements and procedures with regard to unplanned treatment than to cases of planned treatment in another EU country. In particular, in the case of unplanned treatment you can be treated in another EU country like a person who has statutory health insurance in the system there using your European Health Insurance Card. In the case of planned treatment, this is only possible with the prior approval of your health insurance fund and on issuance of the appropriate E112 or S2 European form. Both with unplanned and planned treatment, you may be able to be treated as if you had private health insurance in another EU country. A few aspects need to be taken into account here, and we will explore this in greater detail in the next few sections.

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Information on treatment in another EU country at a glance