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The European Health Card Explained

In this article, we will try to clarify the meaning and usage of a European Health

Insurance Card in Bulgaria if you are applying for a long-term residency and help you get medical care in the country.

European citizens who are travelling within the European Economic Area, for private or professional reasons are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which simplifies the procedure when receiving medical assistance during their stay in a member state.

The European Health Insurance Card allows all legal residents of Bulgaria to benefit from emergency medical treatment and care when temporarily abroad. What is important for you to know is this is not independent travel insurance.

As of 1 May 2010, the responsibility of issuing the EHIC is no longer with a person's state of residence, but with the state where a person is paying to or benefiting from the Social Security System. This affects people receiving pensions from their EU home country rather than their country of residency. A resident of Bulgaria, receiving pension in for example the UK, should now apply for the EHIC card in UK.
When applying for an EHIC, the application is made through the local Regional Health Insurance Fund (RHIF) branch of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Bulgarian residents using an EHIC card when out of the country must make sure that their card is valid, its validity is indicated on the card. Each member of a family, including children under 16, must have their own card. Further information is available from the local social security office.

The EHIC is a necessary document when you need to obtain Visa D or long term residency card to live in Bulgaria.

For those who are pensioners, you should ask your Pension service company to issue specific certificates which gives you the right to register before the Bulgarian health insurance institute. For UK citizens in particular this is the S1 certificate. This certificate states that you are pension allowed person and gives you the right to use the Bulgarian health care. After the registration before the Health insurance institute is completed, you can apply with this certificate form S1 for obtaining Visa D or long term residency card to live in Bulgaria.

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