EHIC stands for European Health Insurance Card and is the document you need to get the necessary health care cover when traveling in qualifying countries of Europe.
Having an EHIC card will give you significantly lower cost or even free, medical treatment or care in any of the EEA countries listed below. Your EHIC card will allow you to receive the necessary treatment and remain in the country until your return date.
Each family member will need to have their own individual EHIC card. You can apply for an EHIC card for free and it will remain valid for 5 years, however those that want a hassle-free approach can use organisations that will handle the EHIC application on their behalf.
You may also apply for a European Health Insurance Card for your spouse or children under the age of 16. A parent can also apply on behalf of full time students if they are under 19.
Your EHIC card is not to be viewed as a travel insurance substitute. This is because your European Health Insurance Card sometimes doesn't completely cover needed medical treatment costs. There are also some European countries that are not covered by your EHIC card, so if you are traveling through multiple countries, travel insurance is a smart choice.
Travel insurance would cover other things that the EHIC does not. These include things like your flight back into the United Kingdom, and emergency rescues.
Since a European Health Insurance Card can be acquired easily, anyone planning to travel through European countries needs to check before they leave that they have a valid EHIC card.
If your existing EHIC card is due to expire, then you will want to ensure that it is renewed prior to your travels. To do this you will need to complete an application to have your card renewed, otherwise you will not be covered.
You can renew your EHIC card in a few different ways as outlined below:
Feel free to contact us for assistance with your EHIC renewal through our review and submit service.
If your EHIC is ever lost or expires, we can order a new one. With our support service, you can be assured that your application is in good hands. We also send you reminders when your EHIC card is due for renewal. That way, you’ll never let your card lapse and you’ll always be covered.
If you want the quickest and easiest way to apply for your EHIC card then you can click ‘Apply Now' on our website, fill out the quick form and our team of experts will take care of the rest for a small fee! You may also wish to complete your application yourself with no fees via the NHS.
Yes! Your EHIC card will continue to be valid into 2019, however the ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU will effect the future of the EHIC. If no-deal is established between the UK and EU by the deadline of 29 March 2019, then the future of the EHIC is unknown. However, should an agreement between the UK and EU be reached by the deadline, then the EHIC card will continue as normal up to 31 Dec 2020.
The following countries accept the EHIC card:
Once your application has been successfully submitted and received, it will usually be sent to you within 10 working days.
Having a valid EHIC card entitles you to pay reduced fees (or none in some cases) for medical treatment within qualifying EHIC countries. Essentially when you hold a valid EHIC card you are entitled to the same treatment (and fees) by local residents within that country, should you find you need medical attention when travelling within qualifying countries.
Your EHIC will cover you for any medical treatment you may need when travelling within qualifying countries. This applies when medical attention is needed due to illness or accidents. You are therefore entitled to medical treatment from state-run healthcare providers.
The future of the EHIC card is yet to be seen, however, should the UK and EU reach an agreement by 29 Mar 2019, then the EHIC will continue as normal up to 31 Dec 2020. However, should there be no-deal between the UK and EU by the deadline, then the future of the EHIC remains uncertain.
If you have a valid EHIC card but forget to take it with you on your travels, and find you need medical attention while visiting a country that accepts the EHIC, then you will need to apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) by calling 0044 191 218 1999 from the hospital or clinic where you're being treated. Should you need treatment then a PRC will be sent over to the hospital.
To get a replacement EHIC card you simply need to apply for your EHIC just like you did the first time. The quickest and easiest way to do this would be via our website for a small fee, or you may also choose to submit your application yourself with no fees through the nhs.
Yes! To renew your expired EHIC card(s) simply complete the application the same way you did the first time. You can do this the quickest and simplest way via our website for a small fee, or you may choose to do this yourself without fees via the nhs.
You should always check your EHIC will be accepted before you consult a hospital or doctor during your travels, as generally dental treatment is not available under the state healthcare system and hence the costs would not be covered in that case.
The NHS Number is normally shown in a ‘3-3-4' format e.g. 123 456 7890.
You should be able to find your NHS Number from the following sources:
~ on a letter or other document from the NHS, including a letter from your GP practice or a hospital
~ on a printed prescription.
~ contact your GP practice and ask them to look it up for you.