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How long is my EHIC valid for?

Your European Health Insurance Card is valid for five years from the date it is issued. If you plan to travel to one of the European Union member states, you want to have the peace of mind that you’re covered in case you fall ill or have an accident and need medical care. Having a valid EU Health Card means you are entitled to receive healthcare (some restrictions apply) when you need it, and you should always pack your EHIC card along with your other important documents. Remember to check your card is still valid before you set off on your travels.

When do I renew my EU Health Card?

You can renew your existing card up to six months before it is due to run out, so there’s no need to wait until the last minute. If you do decide to renew your card early, remember that the additional months won’t be added on to your EHIC card. The card is valid for five years from the date it is issued. If, for some reason, you think you’re going to need an extension to your EU Health Card, this will be considered on a case by case basis. In the meantime, it’s a lot easier just to check the date on your card, especially if you’re planning to travel to a EU country in the near future, and renew it in plenty of time. It’s a straightforward process and can be completed online in a matter of minutes.

Change of personal details

If any of your personal details have changed since you last applied for a European Health Insurance Card, you may have to verify your name and address over the phone unless you still have the PIN number you were issued with your existing card, in which case you can use this to update the details. As a UK citizen you can apply directly to the NHS for a EHIC card free of charge and once your application is checked and approved, it will be sent to you through the post. Having a valid EU health card may help reduce your travel insurance premiums, so it’s definitely worth applying for one. We do charge a fee when you apply for a card online, but included in this is a check and submit service which ensures your application is processed correctly. Once that’s done, we’ll arrange for your card to be sent to you without delay. Our fee also includes a renewal reminder, so you’ll never have to worry about your card expiring again in future.

Applying on behalf of someone else

You can also apply for a EU health card on behalf of your spouse, child, or cards for a travel party, provided you have all the relevant, up to date details to hand, as well as the other person’s permission. Personal details you’ll need include full names of the other individual(s), their date of birth, national insurance number or NHS number (England and Wales), CHI number ( Scotland), or Health and Care number (Northern Ireland).

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