Hungarian citizens in the European Union (EU) are entitled to emergency or full range of medical services depending on whether they stay transiently or permanently in the particular EU member state.
The general rule is that Hungarian citizens bear a health insurance coverage (social security coverage) in the country where they have employment status and where they are obliged to pay a social security or health care contribution fee. EU regulations apply only to social security systems maintained by the state (and do not apply to voluntary or obligatory supplemental health care, professional or other services which are not maintained by the state).
Aside from the EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland provide the same criteria for citizens.
Healthcare provision for those with employment status abroad
If a citizen has an employment status in a different country than where they reside, then they can be entitled for medical services in both countries on the basis of their employment status and place of residency. In order to be eligible, they have to be registered and they have to pay contribution fees in the health care system of the country of their employment. In order to obtain eligibility for medical services in their country of residency, they have to obtain an S1 (previously E106) document from local authorities which verify their eligibility for healthcare services and with which they can register in the healthcare system of their country of residency. There might be other criteria for the issuance of the S1 document of which the applying authorities can give more details.
After their registration to the other state’s health care system, the Hungarian health care contribution fee payment obligation does not apply any further to the Hungarian citizen (and voluntary payment of the contribution fee is not possible, either).
If an EU citizen has health insurance in another EU member country, during their transient stay in Hungary, they are entitled to medically indicated health care services. Their eligibility is verified by the European Health Insurance Card (EU card) issued by their foreign insurance company/country of residency.
The EU regulations on healthcare provision for Hungarian citizens with foreign employment status include the followings:
- those countries’ health care regulations (and legal system) apply to the employees, in which country they have employment status;
- employees coming from other EU member states have equal rights to medical services with those who are citizens of the particular country;
- employees can “carry” their rights acquired in a member state with themselves to another member state;
- determining social security covered periods, the cumulative covered periods should be considered (acquired in different member states).
The employee’s relatives have the same rights as the employee in the following EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The employee’s relatives are eligible only for emergency care or medical care provided upon their eligibility certified by their country of residency with the S2 document (previously E112) in the following countries: Denmark, United Kingdom, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Lithuania, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
To short-term employees (with an employment status no longer than 2 years) and entrepreneurs insurance laws and regulations apply according to their country of citizenship. During their employment abroad, the A1 (previously E101) document certifies their legal relationship with their country of citizenship to the country of employment’s authorities. This document also certifies their insurance status and supports that they do not have to pay a healthcare contribution fee to the country of employment.
Healthcare insurance for students, researchers and interns
Hungarian students, researchers or individuals doing internship abroad are entitled to medical service the same way as individuals with employment status:
- if they have an employment status, they have to register into the country of employment’s healthcare system;
- if they are not employed in the foreign country, they are obliged to pay a health care contribution fee in Hungary, which entitles them to have a European Health Insurance Card;
- if they spend a fixed amount of time in the foreign country (at a university or in a research facility), they can stay in the insurance system of their country of residency.
Healthcare provision for pensioners
In the EU, pensioners and their family members are entitled to receive full range of healthcare services in their country of residency (place of residency). If they receive their pension from the country of residency (regardless of if they receive pension from another country or not), then they belong to the healthcare system of the same country.
If they do not receive pension or other forms of allowances, then they belong to the health care system of the state from where they receive their pension, or if there are multiple countries like this, then they belong to the country where they had the longest health insurance covered period.
Eligibility for healthcare services can be verified by the S1 (previously E121) document, issued by the given country.
Certain member states provide full range of medical services for pensioners residing in another state, if they had been previously employed in these countries and thereby receive pension from there.
Reporting and documents to download
For Hungarian citizens with foreign employment status, in order to pay their healthcare insurance contribution fee abroad, and in order to be exempt from paying that fee at home, they have to report their employment status in the applying government office in Hungary within 15 days. The necessary form can be downloaded from the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary’s (NEAK’s) website (see below). If they fail to report, they might be fined.
Reporting obligation applies to the employees of international organizations with their own insurance system – as the UN, WHO and the EU – as well. The necessary report form is also available and can be downloaded from the NEAK’s website.
Reporting in Hungary is possible:
- in person or via mail at the competent government office of their place of residency;
- via the system of “Ügyfélkapu”.
The reporting form is available:
- at the government offices’ customer services,
- can be downloaded from the NEAK’s website.
The name of the form: Reporting form for Hungarian citizens with foreign health insurance.
For further information visit NEAK's and the National Contact Point's websites, or ask for help on the following numbers of the Center of National Patient and Children Rights (OBDK, in Hungarian: Országos Betegjogi, Ellátottjogi, Gyermekjogi és Dokumentációs Központ):
- OBDK’s national green number:80/620-600, weekdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.,
- OBDK’s international green number: +36-20-999-0025, weekdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.,
- personally at the OBDK’s office (upon previous appointment request).