EHIC covers basic healthcare on short trips around Europe
The new card allows EU nationals to obtain the same level of healthcare as a local resident in a member country when travelling. The card replaces the old current paper forms and in time, it is hoped they will contain vital personal health information.
The new card scheme covers short-term trips around Europe and Switzerland. It only covers basic national healthcare as received by local residents. This scheme will not cover those living permanently outside the UK. It will cover the cardholder in member countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, is valid for 5 years and only available to UK residents.
One EHIC Card for each Family Member includes non-emergency care for existing/chronic conditions
The new card will no longer cover the whole family as the old paper system did. Each person in the family will need a separate insurance card. The new card also provides the user with essential care needed for the length of stay, which means that in cases of travel with existing/chronic medical conditions non-emergency care will also be provided.
EHIC does not cover already planned treatment in home country
The EHIC also covers all aspects of care originally provided under the paper system, along with necessary treatment for travellers with existing conditions. The card will not cover treatment a patient is awaiting for in his or her own country, nor treatment that can wait until return home.
Travellers still need Travel Insurance
While the card will cover emergency treatment and such like, it is essential that all travellers to Europe still obtain travel insurance. The card will not cover any transportation home (repatriation) or expenses for relatives; accommodation costs etc. should an emergency occur. It will not cover loss of luggage or other personal items. It is also important to remember that treatment covered will be the same as that received by locals, which can vary among EU member states.
Helpful Information, Help Line and Application
- Application can be made quickly online for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC – formerly E111)
- EHIC information from the Department of Health
- Country-by-country guide to entitlements outside the EEA
- Any questions or queries relating to the EHIC should be made to the EHIC Help Line by calling 0845 605 0707, or +44 191 212 7500 if calling from abroad.
Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional. Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.