If you are planning on heading overseas, make sure the details on your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are accurate and in date. If any information has lapsed, you may find that your card is invalid and be left with the high cost of overseas medical treatment. If your address has changed, make sure that you renew your EHIC as soon as possible.
European Health Insurance is designed to protect the health and welfare of UK travellers who go overseas for holidays, to study or for business. Many European countries do not offer a free healthcare system like we have here in Britain. Some other countries do treat their own citizens for free, but they charge non-residents for emergency care and ongoing treatment. A European Health Insurance Card allows the cardholder to receive treatment at any public hospital or clinic across participating European nations. The treatment may be free at the point of receipt, or you may be reimbursed by the UK’s health service after your treatment.
You may previously have held an E111 card, which has now been replaced by the current EHIC. All out of date cards must be renewed in order to be valid – and this includes ensuring that the address on the card is up to date. The card is non-transferable, meaning that only the named person can use it. If you travel with others, make sure everyone has a valid card in their possession to avoid unexpected treatment costs for your group.
So how do you change the address on a European Health Insurance Card? You simply need to renew your existing EHIC. Applying for a card renewal is a very simple process. You can apply for a new EHIC online or over the telephone, either directly with the NHS or through an approved agency site. Getting a third party to submit your application is highly recommended if you want to avoid delays in the process; the agency can audit your application, note any errors and ensure all application information is complete. This check could avoid your submission being rejected.
However you choose to apply, you will need to provide materials that verify your identity and your eligibility. European Health Insurance is available as part of your National Insurance Contributions – as long as you apply for a valid card. When changing your address, you will need to provide proof of your current residence, as well as details of your addresses for recent years. If you are a student or you work away from home, use your permanent residence as your address. Once your request is filed and your fee is cleared, you should receive your card in the post soon after. You can then use this card to access treatment when travelling abroad. However, remember that if you move home again in the future and wish to travel in Europe, you will need to apply for a new EHIC in your new address before your trip.