European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
What is it used for?
It covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free. The card does not cover private medical, planned treatments or giving planned birth abroad. NHS published specific guidance of each EU country on how to access healthcare or claim refunds.
EHIC card is free of charge and can be requested online by filling a simple and short application form which asks for the following details.
- Your name
- Date of birth
- NI number
- UK address
- Phone number
In the meantime, it is possible to request cards for family members or children within your application. You should get the card within 7-10 working days which is valid for 5 years then you can renewal it.
Please note, you must keep your EHIC card with you when you access state-provided healthcare abroad. If your card is lost or stolen, call 0845 605 0707 or +44 191 212 7500 from abroad.
Source: NHS, (2016)