European Health Insurance Card

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)


The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), entitles holders to state provided healthcare within the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC replaced the E111 form back in 2006, you need a valid EHIC card before you travel to a country within the European Economic Area (the members of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Essentially the EHIC entitles UK residents to reduced cost or free state provided healthcare when visiting the member countries.


European Health Insurance Card

Overview and Who is Entitled to the EHIC
What the EHIC Does Cover
What the EHIC Does NOT Cover
EHIC and Travel Insurance
Where To Get The EHIC


Overview and Who is Entitled to the EHIC

UK residents that are normally resident in the UK and over the age of 16 can apply for the EHIC. Note there are some restrictions and residents of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not currently covered by the agreement. The card is currently free of card and will have validity for up to 5 years. Each person in a group is required to have their own valid EHIC. For children under 16 years they can be included as a dependent of a parent.


What the EHIC Does Cover

If there is an accident, emergency or you are ill during your trip, you would be entitled to health care provided by the state on much the same terms as the local nationals of the country you are visiting. This service makes carrying the free card worthwhile and provides you with some medical cover whilst abroad. It is important to carry a valid EHIC card wherever you go to prove you have the card and are entitled to treatment should you require it.


What the EHIC Does NOT Cover

It is important to note the EHIC does not cover all medical costs and eventualities among things not currently covered include:

- Your Total Medical Costs

- Private Treatment (is usually not covered)

- Repatriation Costs to the UK

- Lost or Stolen Property

- Regions where there is no state provided medical cover



Given the state funded health systems in the EEA vary from country to country some things that are provided by the UK NHS may not be provided for free in others countries.


EHIC and Travel Insurance

The EHIC is a useful card to have before you embark on your trip but it should not be seen as a replacement to full and comprehensive travel insurance. The EHIC does not cover all eventualities (such as needing to repatriate to the UK, lost property or private medical costs). Travelling to the member countries with only the EHIC is not recommended and could lead to a host of problems if there are health issues that fall outside the cover of the EHIC, including very expensive private medical bills. In order to prevent this, it is highly recommended that you ensure you have the correct, valid and comprehensive Travel Insurance that best suits your requirements from a reputable provider before you begin your journey.


Where To Get The EHIC

The EHIC is a useful card to take and offers a degree of cover whilst abroad but rather than viewing it in isolation it is perhaps best viewed as useful cover to have complimenting your full travel insurance. The EHIC can be obtained by applying online at EHIC.

You can also call Tel: 0845 606 2030 to get the card or get the application form from the Post Office.



AddThis Social Bookmark Button





Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
Copyright © 2018 Essential Travel Guide Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced in any form or by any means without our written permission.