If you are travelling to continental Europe, you will now be required to be in possession of an EHIC Card. The EHIC stands for European Health Insurance Card, and has replaced the E111 card since 2006.
The EHIC only covers basic national healthcare as received by local residents, and will not cover those who are permanently living outside of the UK, although they may be UK citizens. Instead, the card will only be available to UK residents, will be valid for five years, and can be sue din the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
The new EHIC card will no longer cover the whole family as the old E111 paper system did. Each individual will be required to be in possession of their own EHIC. 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.
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 that is considered non-important, and that can wait until the return home.
It is important to be aware that although you may be in possession of the EHIC card, you are still required to hold valid, adequate travel insurance. In cases of emergency, travel insurance will be necessary to ensure the best care possible is received. The card will not cover any transportation home or expenses for relatives; accommodation costs etc. in the unfortunate incident that an emergency occurs. It will also not cover loss of luggage or other personal items.
For more in depth information, check out the following resources:
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.
Online Application: https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do
An NHS Guide to the EHIC: http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/Healthcareabroad/pages/Healthcareabroad.aspx