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European Health Insurance Card

ehicThe European Health Insurance card (EHIC) was introduced in 2006 as a replacement for the E111 form. It allows its carrier to access state-provided medical treatment in the country they are visiting. Effectively it means you will be treated in the same way an insured person would who lives in the country. Despite this it is important to note that everything you expect to be covered by the NHS may not be covered free of charge in the country you are visiting. Even with the EHIC you may need to contribute to your medical care.

The EHIC is free and will cover you for treatment for 5 years for diseases and pre existing illnesses that become apparent during your visit. However it will not cover medical treatment if medical treatment is the main purpose of your trip.

Some countries may require you to pay upfront and then reclaim the costs and in this circumstance it is best to do this when still in the country.

Overall the EHIC sounds like a great free insurance policy but in hindsight, it may not cover all your healthcare costs and you can still incur huge bills if you need medical assistance abroad. For this reason we advise you still get a insurance policy out today to get comprehensive cover so your not left out of pocket in an emergency abroad.

Not only this but you also get covered for other no medical emergencies that may arise.

Many travel insurance policies are only valid if you have an EHIC when travelling to an EU country. It should not be seen as an alternative to travel insurance, as it does not cover baggage, repatriation, cancellation, etc. A good travel insurance policy should also cover you for any medical care contribution that is not reimbursable by the EHIC.

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