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Health Insurance Card Service Not Available Due to HSE Cyber Attack

Health Insurance Card Service Not Available Due to HSE Cyber Attack

The online application system for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – formerly the E111 insurance card – has been suspended due to the recent HSE cyber attack, ITTN has learnt. 

The online service is currently not available and the HSE has given no indication of when the system might be restored.

In an answer to ITTN, the HSE said that the “EHIC processing system is a web-based service and its resolution is linked to the general restoration of HSE services at this time.”

The HSE added: “The EHIC online application system is currently not available, but HSE local offices can advise individuals, who require emergency EHIC coverage, pending the resolution of the consequences of the cyber attack. These local offices can be contacted by phone.”

Existing cards are still valid until their expiry date.

An Important Insurance Card

The free EHIC gives its holders access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.

The benefits covered include, for example, benefits provided in conjunction with chronic or existing illnesses as well as in conjunction with pregnancy and childbirth. Each card is valid for five years.

As Ireland looks to resume international travel from 19 July, the issue of EHIC availability is a critical one, as the card offers insurance cover to all Irish citizens travelling in the EU.

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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