European health insurance card
Applying for a European Health Insurance Card
Passport. Tickets. Shades. Sunscreen. European Health Insurance Card? Holidays are supposed to be about fun, but if you misjudge that final dive off the hotel balcony into the pool, try one snowboard somersault too many or look the wrong way when crossing a busy foreign road, you'll be glad you brought your EHIC. But of course, none of that's going to happen, is it? You will land hands down in the pool, complete that somersault without breaking any bones and avoid that hurtling truck. Yes, we all think we are bullet-proof, and until the unexpected happens, we are.
The European Health Insurance Card is a handy, wallet-sized document, recognised across the European Economic Area (as well as Switzerland) allows you like for like medical treatment as you would receive in the UK when visiting certain countries within the European Economic Area. It does depend on which country you are visiting as some treatments are free of charge and others maybe at a subsidised cost. Each member country has specific rules to what treatment comes under European health insurance card cover. If disaster strikes to ruin your holiday, you will be glad you spent five minutes applying for one on the internet. Without this, you could be facing massive bills for treatment and an assisted flight home.
What is covered?
The card covers European travellers for treatment of their existing medical conditions, accidents while travelling and routine maternity care, as long as the mother-to-be has not travelled abroad specifically to give birth.
Applying for an EHIC, which replaced the E111 in 2006, couldn't be simpler - just click here to order and follow the simple instructions. Alternatively, you can call our telephone support service on 0844 559 1069 for information about your application. Once you have made the application you will receive your European health insurance card in the post within 7-10 working days and this card will be valid for 5 years.
Although having a European Health Insurance Card in your wallet will give you peace of mind regarding healthcare costs if you are involved in an accident or succumb to an illness, it is not intended to replace travel insurance, but rather should be seen as a lifebelt for emergencies. It will not cover you for such things as mountain rescue costs, private medical care or lost or stolen property. It has one purpose, which is to cover your healthcare costs, so it is essential to also have travel insurance that covers you for everything else.
Of course, just as the EHIC is available in the UK, so it is in all 27 EEA countries. EHIC Direct have developed a smartphone app for iPhone and Android platforms that gives information about hospitals and provides an easy to use platform on which you can store your European Health Insurance Card details.
If you do travel without your European health insurance card you can call the Overseas healthcare team on telephone number 0191 218 1999 where they will arrange for a provisional certificate to be sent to the hospital where you are receiving the treatment.