The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) basically allows you medical care as if you were a citizen of that country where you have traveled to. However, it's not going to give you the exact same things you get from the NHS. While maternity services are covered, but not if you have traveled solely to give birth abroad. In fact, the EHIC does no cover medical care for anyone who has traveled simply for medical treatment.
The coverage of EHIC varies between each European country. Some nations charge co-payment. Sometimes this can be reclaimed when you are back home in the United Kingdom. However, Repatriation is not covered. This is why a policy for travel insurance can cover you when the EHIC does not. Travel Insurance will also cover lost or stolen luggage and delayed or cancelled flights. Since those things are beyond your control, travel insurance is a very smart decision.
If you want to be completely covered and protected against all circumstances, is to to have an EHIC card and travel insurance.
Your EHIC card is valid for one individual, so each family member must have their own unique card. One may submit an application for an EHIC card on their partners or kids behalf, if those children are under 16 (or 19 should they still be full time students).
You should discuss ongoing medical care like chemotherapy etc. with a doctor before you travel. Treatments like these, or oxygen, are needed to be booked not after prior to travelling. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead regarding managing your condition, but the cost adds another consideration. Having continuing health issues does not restrict you from traveling and receiving treatment in Europe. You are still able to receive excellent medical care while overseas in a hospital, but you should have a supplemental travel insurance policy to as well as your EHIC.
There are limitations to the EHIC coverage. If you’re traveling within Europe just to receive medical treatment, you’ll often find that the card doesn’t cover you. However, the card does make it less expensive to treat any existing conditions you may have, or for any maternity related general care.
There is an exception if women travel to Europe simply for the purpose of giving birth within a different country.
If you are in Europe and are facing some medical-related emergency, dial 112. It is a emergency contact for all EU and EEA members.
The EHIC does not cover you for medical treatment if you travel specifically to receive this treatment. This is referred to as “medical tourism,” and while it has become common, the EHIC does not cover it. The EHIC is meant to cover you if you have an unexpected problem, or have to manage an existing problem, while traveling. Traveling for medical care just to avoid wait lists or to receive a treatment that is not seen as necessary elsewhere, is not approved under the EHIC.