A Simple Guide to the EHIC – European Health Insurance Card
The EHIC or European Health Insurance Card is a replacement for the old E111.
The EHIC gives the holder rights to treatment that becomes medically necessary during a temporary visit to EEA (European Economic Area) countries or Switzerland. People who are ordinarily resident in the UK can apply for an EHIC. Each individual travelling requires a card.
Who is entitled to a card?
Any person who is ordinarily resident in the UK. There are some restrictions, please the European Health Insurance Card website.
Where can it be used?
In all EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Only treatment provided under the state scheme is covered.
What does it cover me for?
The EHIC covers treatment provided by the state healthcare scheme in the country you are visiting. This means that if in the country you are travelling too locals have to pay for prescriptions or going to the dentist then you will have to as well.
It does not cover repatriation costs. Therefore if you need to be repatriated (i.e. taken back home) then you will have to pay for this yourself and it can be very expensive, this is on of the reasons it worthwhile to get insurance.
If you need more specific information about what treatment is covered, how much is covered, how to use card and how to get treatment abroad then please visit the NHS website will all the EHIC details. This website has full country information about what you are entitled to and this is unlikely to be the same as in the UK.
Please note that this is not a replacement for holiday insurance and the government advises travellers to get both.
How long does it last for?
The cards only last for 5 years so don’t forget to keep yours up-to-date. See below on how to renew.
How much is the card?
The EHIC – European Health Insurance Card is FREE. Beware of unofficial websites that charge you!
Where to apply
The card can be obtained from the NHS website’s European Health Insurance Card section. Click on the ‘Apply now’ to register. You can also call on 0845 606 2030. Non-EEA nationals must apply by post because more documentation is required. Visit the EHIC website for more details.
How to renew
For renewals the procedure is the same as for new applications. Visit the European Health Insurance Card section from the NHS for more information.