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EHIC – European Health Insurance Card

EHIC – European Health Insurance Card

What is the EHIC?

In principle the EHIC card allows citizens of the UK the entitlement for free or reduced cost of emergency treatment when holiday at certain European countries.

Why should I have an EHIC?

Keep your EHIC card in your passport for easy access in case of emergency.

Keep your EHIC card in your passport for easy access in case of emergency.

To begin with it’s free to all UK residents and you don’t have re-apply with each trip you make.

I’ve already got Health/Travel insurance; surely I don’t need an EHIC?

You may find that that some holiday insurance policies will only cover you for medical attention over that of the cover of the EHIC. If you have policy like this, or even slightly unsure, get an EHIC.

Great for NHS queue jumping?

It’s not set-up for general hospital treatment, only emergency treatment.

Is this an end to private health/travel insurance?

Not at all. The E111 system has been in place for decades and its replacement isn’t very different. The EHIC ONLY covers you for emergency treatment in participating countries, so if you’re travelling outside of the participating European countries at any point, you must have additional cover. Also, some participating countries only offer reduced charges for EHIC holders so without additional cover you could face a large hospital bill.

Fantastic, I’m going skiing in Europe over the New Year, I suppose I don’t have to bother with insurance now…

For ski holidays the EHIC will only cover you for certain emergency medical procedures, NOT getting you to the hospital. If you’re airlifted off the piste with a broken leg/arm/head you’ll need insurance for this, otherwise the monstrous bill will be yours to pay.

But if I’m travelling anywhere in Europe I shouldn’t bother with insurance, right?

Not all countries in Europe will provide you with total cover on presentation of your EHIC, look into this carefully before travelling. If your still unsure in anyway get a good travel policy to ensure you’re not left with a horrific cost on top of your injury.

Where can I get additional insurance?

Where can I get an EHIC?

Unlike, the E111 you do NOT get the EHIC at the Post Office. You can get the EHIC online.

Where can I find-out more?

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