Work in an EU country

Skip to contents of guide

Healthcare and insurance

You may be eligible to use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if you’re both:

  • planning on working temporarily in the EU
  • still making National Insurance contributions

Your EHIC or GHIC gives you access to free or cheaper treatment that’s considered to be medically necessary by the state providing it - this means it cannot wait until you return to the UK.

Find out more about the EHIC and GHIC, including who can get them, where they’re valid and how to apply.

Check if you should pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in the EU.

Take out travel insurance to cover health costs that are not covered by an EHIC or GHIC, for example private medical treatment or being flown back to the UK.

If you’re planning to work abroad long term or permanently, or temporarily for an employer that’s no longer based in the UK, you may need to:

  • register as a resident and pay social security contributions to use the state healthcare system in that country
  • take out private health insurance for any period in which you are not covered by the state healthcare system
  • check if you’re eligible for an S1 form if your employer will remain UK-based - an S1 form shows that your state healthcare is paid for by the UK

Find out more in the country healthcare guides.