European Health Insurance Card Renewal
European Health Insurance Card renewal and first time application is simple and free.
The EHIC, as its known, gets you access to state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland, at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK.
You can apply for the card or get your European Health Insurance Card renewal on the official EHIC website (www.ehic.org.uk).
Other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them. Never pay for it. European Health Insurance Card renewal is FREE
The card is valid for up to five years. Even if you don’t plan to travel in the near future, it’s a good idea to get one.
Apply online now for your EU Health Card Renewal – its free.
Once you’ve got your EU Health Card keep it with you and keep it safe at all times.
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Each country’s healthcare system is slightly different so your EHIC might not cover everything that would be free on the NHS. However, you should be able to get the same treatment as a resident of the country you’re visiting.
In some countries, you may have to pay a patient contribution, also known as a co-payment.
You may be able to get a refund for these payments when you’re back in the UK if you could not do so in the country where you were treated.
- The EHIC will cover any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip
- The card gives access to reduced-cost or free medical treatment from state healthcare providers
- It includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition if necessary during your visit
- It includes routine maternity care
- The card also covers routine medical care for people with pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
What’s not covered?
The European Health Insurance Card is not an alternative to travel insurance. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one.
- The EHIC will not cover your medical expenses if you are going abroad specifically to have treatment (including giving birth). Find out more about planned treatment abroad.
- You may not be able to use the card in some parts of the EEA as state-provided healthcare may not be available.
Some European health systems expect you to pay your bill when you are treated and then claim a refund using your EHIC. Try to apply for your refund before you return home. Find out how to do this in the country-by-country guide.
If you need to make a claim once you return to the UK, call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday, 8am–5pm).