This article will tell you

  • why it is important to have valid health insurance;
  • what forms of validity your social security number has;
  • how to keep your insurance valid;
  • what to do if your insurance status is not settled?

You should know that as an asylum seeker, you have the right for medical treatment without a social security card. However, if your legal status is other than asylum, you will need a social security card.

More information about the process of applying for a social security card can be found here. (link)

How to find out if you are eligible for benefits based on your social security card?

When you go to the doctor's, whether it's an on-call doctor, a GP or a specialist clinic, your social security card will be checked at the reception desk. Here, you will find out what entitlements you have. If your social security card is valid, the doctor will examine you and prescribe medication, so validity is essential. 

Health insurance entitlements in Hungary are indicated by colours. Read on to  learn what the colours, known as 'lights', mean. 

  • "GREEN LIGHT" - Your social security number is valid, your legal status is in order. If the doctor sees this, you are entitled to every benefit.
  • "RED LIGHT" - Your social security number is valid, but your status is unresolved. In this case, the health care provider cannot refuse care, i.e. you will be examined, but you must go to the government office to have your status settled.
  • "BLUE LIGHT" - insured abroad, social security card temporarily invalid. This means that the cardholder has established an insurance relationship abroad. This means that you have to pay for the services in the Hungarian healthcare system. 
  • "BROWN LIGHT" - The social security card is invalid for other reasons. In this case, health services are available only on a fee basis.
  • "YELLOW LIGHT" - Your social security card is valid but you are eligible for limited health services. In practice, this means that you can get care under an agreement with your health insurer, but dental treatment is available only in case of emergency, and you cannot be admitted to a hospital abroad or to a transplant waiting list.

What should Ukrainian and other non-Hungarian nationals and dual nationals know about the validity of the social security card?

  • if you have a temporary address, your social security card has an expiry date, and you will need to renew it;
  • Ukrainian and other foreign nationals must revalidate the social security card if they change jobs;
  • Ukrainian and other foreign nationals must also revalidate their social security card when changing their residence permit;

For all these reasons, we recommend checking the validity of the social security card

  • You should know that the social security card can be brown for "other reasons" and for tax backlog, not only because of a problem with the social security status. You can read more about the difference between the two here

How can I check the validity of my social security number?

  • You can check the validity of your social security number at any time via the client portal. Here you can also check if your employer has registered you, if yes, for how many hours and for what job, and whether you had a break in being insured. 
  • If you do not have access to a client portal, you can ask the National Health Insurance Fund in person.
  • You can ask a pharmacist in a drugstore.

What should I do if my legal status is not settled?

If the status check at the health care provider does not show a "yellow" or "green" signal, you will be informed immediately. You can settle your status electronically via the client portal or directly at the government office.
IMPORTANT: In such a situation, ask your employer whether they know about the irregularity in your status. In many cases, technical problems are the cause of inconvenience: the employee has entered his/her personal data incorrectly and the employer has not checked them carefully, or the employer has made a mistake, as he/she is unfamiliar with Ukrainian names and place names. Often a misspelling of a letter can cause a problem; a mistake in employment data can also cause a problem. These errors are easy to correct, so it is worth checking!

You can find out more about how to start a regularisation procedure on the National Health Insurance Fund website. Unfortunately, most of the information is only available in Hungarian.


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Our articles are validated, but the information provided does not cover every specific case.


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