If you’re planning a holiday to Europe, the European Health Insurance Card is one of the most important items to carry with you, as it provides reduced cost or free state medical treatment for holidaymakers and travellers in Europe. This applies to pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, but if you are going abroad for the purpose of medical treatment, beware that different rules apply. Healthcare is not free in all European countries and medical bills can be very expensive, so it’s a good idea to carry the EHIC card with you while abroad on the continent. The card is valid for up to five years, so if you’ve had yours for a while it might be time to renew it.
How does renewing my card work?
With us, European Health Card renewal is easier than you’d think. If your card is within six months of expiry you can apply for a new one in several easy steps, so that it’s with you well before you need to travel. The renewed card will simply replace your old card, which can be disposed of.
What will I need to renew my card?
You will need to supply some details to ensure you are eligible for the EHIC card. These details include your full name, address, date of birth and national insurance or NHS number if you reside in England or Wales. Residents of Northern Ireland are required to provide their Health and Care number and Scottish travellers will need to supply their CHI number.
When completing the application you can add the details of your partner to the same form, providing they live at the same address, and the details of any dependants, rather than completing numerous forms. EHIC renewal couldn’t be easier.
In which countries does the card work?
The EHIC card can be used in any country that is part of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), and includes Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Are there any countries in which the card does not work?
Countries that do not accept the EHIC card are the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, so if you are travelling to any of these places you are advised to ensure you have travel insurance that is valid in these countries.
Is there anything else I need to know?
The European Health Insurance Card only applies to state-provided medical treatment and does not cover private healthcare or costs. If, for example, the card carrier needed to be flown back to the UK, the EHIC card would not cover this. Consequently, renewing your EHIC card does not negate the need for travel insurance. You will still need to make sure that you have adequate insurance cover before you travel.