If you are planning a trip to europe, whether it be a business trip to Paris or a relaxing holiday in Amsterdam, make sure you pack your E111 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
An EHIC entitles citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to free or reduced-cost healthcare in any of the participating countries. It has also been known as an E111 card or an EU health card, but EHIC is the official name.
It covers you for any medical treatment you might need, whether you fall ill or sustain an injury. It also covers treatment for long-term or chronic conditions, although you will need to arrange this prior to your departure through the NHS. Routine maternity care is covered, but if you’re planning to have your baby abroad, you will need to pick up an E112 form.
You can obtain one by applying through the NHS either online, by telephone, or by posting a form available at the Post Office. We have a link at the bottom of the post for the online application.
The cards are free and every member of your family needs one, including very young children. The cards are valid for 5 years and renewal of the card is also free. If you are concerned that your card will expire during the course of a trip abroad, you can renew it up to 6 months in advance.
The healthcare that is provided by the country that you are visiting can vary, for instance you may be required to pay upfront in some countries and claim the money back later, other countries may expect you to make a contribution for bedding costs and meals. Showing the EHIC will speed up the process.
The EHIC does not cover mountain rescue, private healthcare, lost property, cancellation or repatriation costs or extra accomodation costs. It will not cover you in the event that you are going abroad specifically to receive treatment. Some countries in the EEA do not have state funded health care and cover is not available.
Additional costs outside of the EHIC cover can often become very expensive, so it’s important to make sure you have travel insurance as well as your EHIC. We can provide a quote for both annual multi trip policies and single trip policies to suit your needs and requirements.
Apply for an EHIC at the NHS website by following this link www.nhs.uk/ehic