The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows UK citizens to have access to the same free healthcare that is available to the citizens of the EU country they are visiting. The purpose of the scheme is designed to allow you to continue your holiday in another EU country, without having to rush back home for medical treatment, should you require it. The card only covers you for the standard health care of that country and as a result, is not a replacement for travel insurance.
Although each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, the treatment you receive will generally be the same as received by citizens of that country. Cover includes:
The EHIC Card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain/ski resort rescues, repatriation to the UK or lost/stolen property. It is essential, therefore, to have both the EHIC Card AND valid private travel insurance.
TIP: You may be able to reduce the excess on your travel insurance policy if you use your EHIC Card if and when you receive treatment.
The EHIC Card can be obtained by completing the EHIC online application form or by downloading the application form. Alternatively, you can apply by phoning the automated service on 0300 330 1350. The EHIC Card is free of charge. However, there are several unofficial sites that may charge a fee. Click on the link below for the official free online application. https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do