Travelling to Europe is always a good idea. From its rich history and its fantastic food, to the cultural delights and awe-inspiring landscapes, there is always so much to experience. If you are considering going to Europe but have yet to apply for or renew EHIC card, you may be missing out on the chance to protect yourself from hefty medical bills should you find yourself falling ill or getting injured whilst on holiday in Europe. If you are interested to know a little bit more about what a European Health Insurance Card covers you for and why it’s such a helpful thing to carry in your purse or wallet when on holiday, then check out the guide below…
What is it?
The EHIC is a credit-card sized document that essentially covers you from paying extortionate amounts of money for emergency healthcare when travelling around countries part of the EEA. The European Health Insurance Card is a replacement for the old E111 and can offer either free or reduced cost healthcare (depending on which country you are seeking healthcare in). It also covers routine health checks for certain existing conditions such as asthma or routine pregnancy checks.
Who needs an EHIC?
Anyone over the age of 16 can apply for a European Health Insurance Card and children under this age should have a parent apply for a card on their behalf, as children also need to have a valid EHIC card when visiting Europe. Make sure to apply for your EHIC card in good time before you travel as the card can take up to 10 days to arrive.
How do I get one?
Applying for your EHIC couldn’t be easier as all you need is your NHS number and details such as your address etc. and you will be well on your way to securing a card!
Is it an alternative to travel insurance?
The government has advised that it is of the upmost importance that you carry an EHIC card when travelling but that it is not a substitute to having proper travel insurance. An EHIC card can work well alongside your existing travel insurance as it can save you from paying the excess on a medical insurance claim. Keep in mind that travel insurance is built to cover you for things such as cancelled trips, lost luggage or stole luggage among other things depending on the cover you choose to take out.
What countries accept this card?
Your EHIC card is valid in all of the 27 countries that are members of the EEA, including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Does an EHIC cover private healthcare?
Your European Health Insurance Card should be accepted in all state run clinics and medical facilities but is not designed to cover private medical health expenses.
How do I use an EHIC?
Using your EHIC cars is simple and straightforward. All you have to do is present your card prior to receiving treatment and you shouldn’t have any problems. Keeping your card with you at all times will ensure that you do not struggle getting treatment quickly.
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