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European Health Insurance Card (EHIC )

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October 14, 2015 in Health


EHIC is free. Some services charge to help you apply – these are unnecessary and you don’t need to use them.

You’ll need to provide your:

full name
date of birth
National Insurance or NHS number (England and Wales)
CHI number (Scotland)
Health and Care number (Northern Ireland)

EHIC doesn’t replace travel insurance.

You’ll have to apply by post and show proof of residency if you’re not from the UK, EEA or Switzerland.

You can apply for or renew an EHIC using the official EHIC online application form. This is free of charge. Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.

An EHIC will enable you to access state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK.

It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth. For more information about what is covered in each country, see our country-by-country guide.

The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. This makes it 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.

Your EHIC card is valid in the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (Southern), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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