Stay safe in Europe

Free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card, is free and gets free or discounted medical care at state-run hospitals and GPs in all European Union countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, yet over half of people in the UK don't have one, and in the last year almost 5.3m expired, so check yours. The EHIC replaced the old E111 form in 2005.

Does an EHIC make treatment free?

No. You get treated the same way as a citizen of that country. If they get free medical treatment then you do too – if they pay, you pay the same rates. As this is a reciprocal agreement across Europe, it also means EU citizens can use the NHS in the same way.

Is it a substitute for travel insurance?

No. While very useful, it's only about medical cover. It only gives you access to state-run hospitals which, depending on where you travel to, can be few or far between, and more limited.

More information at MoneySavingExpert.com and you can apply via the NHS website.

 

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