Around 11% of the UK population changes address every year. Every time you move house, there is a mountain of paperwork which requires to be changed too, and everyone from the bank and your employer to the DVLA and your GP needs to be told about your new contact details. One of the pieces of documentation which often gets overlooked is the EHIC cover, which allows UK residents to access healthcare in many European countries on the same basis as local residents. You must update the EHIC system each time you move house, and this is a relatively simple process.
When you are issued with an EHIC, you will have a login ID and PIN to access the NHS system in the future. If you have a note of your login and PIN, you can just access the system and update your address details to show your new home. The system will then produce a new card and send it out to you. Remember that if you have applied for cards for your children, you will have to make sure their details are updated too. Even if your EHIC is due to expire soon it is important to update your address details, as if you simply renew without updating the address, your new cards will be sent to your previous address. If you have used a third party website to help you complete your EHIC application, then contact them and they should be happy to help you update your details.
Updating by Phone or Post
If you have forgotten your PIN to access the online system, or just prefer to do things over the phone or by post, you can update your address in those ways too. If you have more to update than a simple address change, or have questions about how the EHIC works or which details you have to give, then calling the helpline is a sensible option. Unlike online systems which never shut, the telephone helpline is only open 8am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 3pm at weekends. If you wish to update your details by post, you’ll have to first request an application form to update your details online or from the telephone helpline. EHIC application and update forms are no longer available from the Post Office.
Update Before You Travel
Whichever method you use to update the address details on your EHIC cover, remember not to leave applying for a new card to the last minute. EHIC cards do not have as long a turnaround as passports, but it usually takes around two weeks to get a new card sent out. Make sure that you update your details in plenty of time for your EHIC to arrive in time for your next trip overseas. Always take EHIC cards with you on holiday, and it’s a good idea to make copies of the cards or take photographs with your phone in case of them being lost or stolen.