European Health Insurance Card - EHIC
The EHIC - What is it?
As of January 1st 2006 the E111 was
replaced by the new European Health Insurance Card ( EHIC), as such this is now a
uniformly issued card throughout all the European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
Like the old E111 the new EHIC gives the card holder access to many recipricoal healthcare
arrangements agreed upon between European member states. However, it must be stressed that
an EHIC is still not a substitute for a good travel insurance policy, and should only be regarded
purely as a complementary addition to your holiday and travel insurance arrangements.
example, the EHIC does not cover you for repatriation costs like a comprehensive travel
insurance would, so therefore could leave you wide open and vulnerable to very costly
charges if this ever was required. The EHIC will, however, cover you for emergency treatment
and in some cases pre-existing conditions as well, but if your sole intention is to travel
abroad for medical treatment then this is definately not covered on the insurance card.
is entitled to it?
The EHIC is free to anyone over 16 who's normal place of residence
is the United Kingdom, unfortunately it is not available to residents of the Channel Islands
and Isle of Man. As each card entitles only the card holder to its insurance benefits it means
that each family member must apply and be issued with their own. You will find the EHIC is normally
valid from between three to five years, and then after that you will need to re-apply again. You
will, however, throughout that period, be able to receive free or at reduced cost any medical
treatment you might require either through illness or accident while in the following EEA
Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
(including the Canary and Balearic Islands), Sweden, Switzerland
How Do I get
You can find out more and apply online for the EHIC at
Alternatively, you can collect an application form from your local post office and
apply by post.
Although the EHIC is called an insurance card the
cover you actually get is significantly less than that of stand alone travel
insurance policies. With that in mind the EHIC should only therefore be regarded
as an additional insurance and not entirely relied upon as your only form of travel
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