Guidance

Healthcare for UK nationals living in Hungary

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.

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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
  • registering a UK-issued S1 form with the National Health Insurance Fund

Healthcare if you live and work in Hungary

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.

How to register for healthcare

Register as a resident.

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’ from your regional governmental office (kormányablak).

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 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, or ‘detached worker’, is someone 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: using an S1 form in Hungary

There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re a Hungarian resident and receive a UK State Pension.

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.

If you started living in Hungary before 1 January 2021, you may also be entitled to an S1 if you receive some other ‘exportable benefits’.

Not all UK benefits that can be claimed while abroad entitle you to UK-funded healthcare. Read more about claiming benefits if you move abroad or contact Jobcentre Plus to ask about a benefit.

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.

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

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.

Studying in Hungary

You can use an EHIC or GHIC to get medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period.

Getting treatment in the UK

Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes UK nationals who started living in the EU before 1 January 2021.

Read more about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.

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.

Published 23 September 2019
Last updated 26 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated posted worker section as Hungary has confirmed posted workers can continue working and accessing state healthcare in Hungary, and added detail to 'getting treatment in the UK' section about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.

  2. Updated sections on living and working in Hungary, using an S1 form in Hungary, posted workers and studying in Hungary. Changes reflect healthcare arrangements for people moving to Hungary under the new rules of the UK’s deal with the EU.

  3. Updated 2 sections: ‘Healthcare if you’re using an S1 form in Hungary' and ‘Healthcare if you’re studying in Hungary’. Students and people with a registered S1 in Hungary can now apply for a new UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that will remain valid from 1 January 2021.

  4. First published.