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Dual-use insurance cards on the way

NATIONAL health insurance cards with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on their reverse side may soon be in Slovaks' wallets, but no earlier than 2012.

NATIONAL health insurance cards with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on their reverse side may soon be in Slovaks' wallets, but no earlier than 2012.

“New cards might be issued during the first half of 2012,” said Petra Balážová, spokesperson for Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa, the largest of Slovakia's three public health insurance companies, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Union, another health insurance company, is still pondering the move and also regards 2012 as the year when it may start issuing such cards. Dôvera, the third health insurer in Slovakia, is already preparing for the new cards and said new insurees will start receiving them from the start of 2012.

As health insurance is compulsory in Slovakia, each resident must have insurance with one of these insurers. Within the European Union, citizens of member states are entitled to emergency health treatment equivalent to that provided to their own country’s citizens via public health insurance.

To obtain medical care, they must hold an EHIC, which they can obtain from their health insurer. EHICs are valid for five years. A revision to the law on health insurance companies allows for national cards and EHICs to be combined in one card as of August 2011.


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