Planned healthcare in the EU/EEA and Switzerland


In the case of planned healthcare, you travel to another EU/EEA member state and Switzerland with the explicit purpose of accessing health services. You should be aware that care is considered planned even when it is intentionally combined with a vacation in the event that the healthcare could have been provided before or postponed until after the holidays.

…….Before you make your decision about treatment abroad …

Before you make your decision about treatment abroad…

  • Consult your doctor about treatment possibilities abroad.
  • Decide on the country of treatment and the healthcare provider.
  • Contact the healthcare provider for information on their licenses, quality and safety of care and the professional liability insurance system.


When you have decided to travel abroad for treatment…

  • Schedule the treatment with the healthcare provider and inquire about health costs.
  • Communicate your medical history and medical record to the healthcare provider abroad in the language of the country of care.
  • Contact your statutory health insurance service and find out whether you are entitled to assumption of costs incurred abroad on behalf of your social security system and what you will need to pay privately.
  • If you have private insurance, find out about additional benefits that your insurance policy may provide.
  • In most cases of planned treatment abroad, you will need prior authorization  by your statutory health insurance service in order to be entitled to health costs coverage. Make sure you submit a timely claim.
  • Find out about the administrative procedure and the time required for the prior authorization claim to be handled. Make sure you understand the possibilities and the range of the health costs that will be covered by your statutory health insurance service.
  • Do not commit to anything without understanding all the related information and procedures and their consequences.


While abroad for planned treatment …

  • Keep track of all medical procedures, diagnostic tests and treatment results you receive from a healthcare professional abroad in order to update your medical file and ensure continuity of healthcare.
  • Find out about your rights in the event of damage due to healthcare you received in the country of treatment.
  • If you pay for the care you received in an EU/EEA and Switzerland country without the use of European forms (S2 form), make sure you carry all the necessary documentation, i.e. referrals, medical history, detailed invoices and proof of payment for the services provided.
  • Know that you are responsible for the translation fees of the documents submitted to your statutory health insurance service.
  • Keep in mind that there is a national contact point for cross-border care (link in 7.2.1) in every EU/EEA member state, which provides important information about prior authorization, administrative procedures, cost reimbursement and your rights in cross-border healthcare.


After your return …

  • Update your medical record with the details of the care you received abroad.
  • Ensure proper care and follow-up care when needed.
  • In case you have paid for the healthcare provided, consult your statutory health insurance service about the formalities and documentation needed for cost reimbursement.


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Last Update: 21 December 2021
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