What's the difference between the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and travel insurance?
We’ve put together these four essential facts for anyone travelling to mainland Europe
1. The EHIC offers some great benefits
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) enables UK nationals to get free or reduced-cost state healthcare in other EU countries, as well as Switzerland. The card doesn’t cost a thing and you can apply for or renew your own here: https://www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card
2. But you still need travel insurance
Valuable as it is, the EHIC isn’t a substitute for a good travel insurance policy. It won’t cover every eventuality, such as emergency repatriation back to the UK, treatment in a private hospital or stolen valuables. That’s where travel insurance comes in; even if you’re only away for a day or two.
3. It’s best to have both
Most travel insurers will waive the excess on a medical claim if you’ve got an EHIC as well as insurance. If you need medical care overseas, give the doctor both your EHIC and insurance details as soon as possible.
4. What about Brexit?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office says, “Until the UK leaves the EU, UK nationals can continue to access healthcare during temporary visits to other EU countries using the EHIC.”