How to get state healthcare if you live, work or study in Hungary.
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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Hungary.
This information is about living in Hungary. There’s different guidance if you’re visiting Hungary.
The Hungarian state healthcare system is funded by the National Health Insurance Fund (Országos Egészségbiztosítási Pénztár (OEP)).
Most healthcare is free if you’re making social security contributions, but you may have to pay for some things, such as medicines and medical equipment.
UK nationals usually access the Hungarian healthcare system in one of these ways:
- paying social security contributions
- using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays when studying, or as a ‘posted’ (detached) worker
- registering a UK-issued S1 form with the National Health Insurance Fund (see ‘UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Hungary’ below)
Healthcare if you live and work in Hungary
If you are planning on moving to Hungary, see the guidance on Living in Hungary for more information about visa and residency requirements.
You must show proof of healthcare cover:
- before you can register as a resident
- when you apply for a visa
For details about the healthcare cover required for residency applications, contact local authorities in Hungary or the appropriate Hungarian embassy or consulate in the UK.
Once you start making social security contributions, you’ll be automatically registered with the National Health Insurance Fund and entitled to state healthcare. Your dependants will also be entitled to state healthcare.
If you’re employed, your employer will arrange for you to pay social security contributions.
If you’re self-employed, you need to register yourself at your local tax and customs office.
If you are not making social security contributions and you are not someone’s dependant, you need to take out private health insurance.
You need a GP to refer you before seeing a specialist or having a non-emergency hospital appointment.
You may be entitled to a Hungarian EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK.
You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension (see ‘UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Hungary’ below).
How to register for healthcare
Arrange to pay social security contributions. If you’re employed by a Hungarian employer, they’ll deduct your contributions from your wages.
If you’re self-employed, you need to arrange to pay voluntary contributions. You can do this through your local tax and customs office.
Get a healthcare card called a TAJ card (Társadalombiztosítási Azonosító Jel in Hungarian) from your regional governmental office (kormányhivatal).
Read guidance from the Hungarian National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK) on how to apply for a TAJ card.
Register with a GP in your district that has a contract with the National Health Insurance Fund. Bring your TAJ card.
You should carry your TAJ card with you and show it when you visit a doctor.
How to access healthcare services
Find your nearest hospital or clinic on the National Healthcare Service Center website (Hungarian language website, can translate into English).
How much you’ll pay
Most healthcare is free if you’re making social security contributions and you’ve registered with a GP.
You need to show your TAJ card to show that you’re registered with the National Health Insurance Fund.
You usually need to pay part of the cost of medicines and medical appliances.
If your UK employer has sent you to Hungary temporarily (posted workers)
A posted worker, also known as a ‘detached worker’, is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to a European Economic Area (EEA) country.
UK posted workers can access healthcare in Hungary using an EHIC, GHIC or S1 form.
HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.
UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Hungary
There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a ‘posted worker’ (see ‘If your UK employer has sent you to Hungary temporarily (posted workers)’ above).
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re a resident in Hungary and receive a UK State Pension or an exportable benefit. See Planning your healthcare abroad on the NHS website for more information about eligibility.
You may also be entitled to an S1 form if you’re a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if you’re eligible.
Once you have an S1 form, you must register it with the Hungarian National Health Insurance Fund.
This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Hungary on the same basis as a Hungarian citizen.
You’ll also get:
Dependants and family members may be classified differently in Hungary than the UK.
Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.
If you’re entitled to an S1 form as a dependant of a State Pensioner, your health cover will be cancelled once you begin claiming your UK State Pension.
You will be sent a new S1 form to your registered address from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. You must register this form to ensure continuation of healthcare cover.
You are responsible for informing NHS Overseas Healthcare Services if you change your address or your circumstances change.
NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm
How to get an S1 form
If you have a UK State Pension or another qualifying exportable benefit, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services (see contact details above).
How to use an S1 form in Hungary
You must register your S1 form with the National Health Insurance Fund.
You also need to get a healthcare card called a TAJ card from your regional governmental office (kormányablak).
Register with a GP in your district that has a contract with the National Health Insurance Fund.
Your records will be updated to say that you’re entitled to healthcare on the same basis as a Hungarian citizen.
Show your TAJ card whenever you access healthcare services.
If you are experiencing delays registering your S1 with local authorities and require emergency or urgent treatment, contact the Overseas Healthcare Services on 0044 191 218 1999.
Studying in Hungary
You should apply for a Student GHIC to get medically necessary, state-provided healthcare for the duration of your study period in Hungary, whether this is for part or all of your course. This means that you’ll get necessary healthcare services on the same basis as a Hungarian citizen either for free or at a reduced cost.
If you already hold a valid Student EHIC you can use this until the card expires.
Getting treatment in the UK
Because the NHS is a residency-based system, under NHS rules UK nationals who move abroad on a permanent basis may lose their entitlement to free NHS healthcare.
If you are a UK national and move to the EU, you should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK unless you have an EHIC, PRC or S2 to show your healthcare costs are funded by the EU country in which you now live, or another exemption applies.
Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes:
- UK war pensioners
- UK government employees
- UK nationals living in the EU on or before 31 December 2020, once they have a registered, UK-issued S1
Read more about using the NHS when you no longer live in the UK (see ‘UK nationals who no longer live in the UK’ in Healthcare for visitors to the UK from the EU).
If you return to live in the UK you’ll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.
Read more about using the NHS when you return to live in the UK.