You are entitled to make a European Health Insurance Card application if you live within a European Economic Area country (including Britain) and qualify for insurability under EU law, as the system is not run according to nationality. In Britain, where healthcare is provided by the publicly funded NHS, your access to treatment is determined by whether you are legally resident in the country and not by how long or how often you have paid your national insurance contributions.
If you are an ordinary British resident and aren’t part of another healthcare system within another member of the EEA, you can make an EHIC application in the UK. If, however, you are insured in another EEA country then you will not be able to make a second application within the United Kingdom and should contact your healthcare provider there if you want an EHIC issued.
When travelling abroad, every family member requires their own individual EHIC. Children under the age of 16 cannot apply for EHICs, so a European Health Card application will need to be made on their behalf by a parent or legal guardian. When making an EHIC application on behalf of a minor, you will need to be able to provide their full name, date of birth and national insurance number, CHI number for those living in Scotland or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland.
In some cases you are entitled to apply for an EHIC even if you don’t live in the United Kingdom on a full-time basis. If you are resident in another EEA country or in Switzerland, you are entitled to an EHIC if you are in receipt of a UK state pension or another exportable benefit and have a UK-sanctioned certificate of entitlement (S1 Form) registered in your new home country.
You can also make a European Health Insurance Card application if, as a worker, you are posted to another EEA country or Switzerland by your UK-based employer. This also includes frontier workers. If you are a family member of a posted worker or related to someone working in the UK, you are also eligible to make an application provided you are not registered by the EEA country you live in.
Students going abroad to study in another EEA country or Switzerland are also entitled to apply for an EHIC, which will cover the cost of any medical bills incurred during their time abroad.
Under special circumstances, some people who are not resident in the UK or another EEA country can apply for an EHIC, but they will need to supply additional information in support of their claim and each application is considered on a case by case basis.
Applying for a European Health Card is an easy and straightforward process, and the vast majority of UK residents are entitled to an EHIC. If you are travelling within the EEA or Switzerland it is vital you do so with an EHIC. Simply fill in the form today and receive your card to ensure you are fully covered.