If you are planning on travelling to Europe in the near future, then you should probably check to see if you were one of the nearly three million people who let their European Health Insurance Card lapse last year.
The EHIC gives you access to free of discounted medical treatment at state-run hospitals and across the EU as well as in Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
In 2017 a total of 2,937,263 EHICs expired, and a further 251,215 lapsed in January 2018 according to a Freedom of Information Act request by MoneySavingExpert.
EHIC’s are valid for five years at a time and your expiry date can be viewed in the bottom right hand corner of the card. To apply for an EHIC visit the official government website or phone 0300 330 1350 – travelers are urged to not regard an EHIC as a substitute for travel insurance.
The government website states: “The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy in place before you travel.”
What is an EHIC and what does it do?
If you have an EHIC and you’re travelling in Europe they you will be entitled to the same medical treatment that the locals are entitled to, which can be very important in an emergency.
It is free to get an EHIC, and as long as you are a resident of the UK you should be entitled to the UK-issued EHIC.
The EHIC covers all countries that are part of the EU, as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
- Recent poll again underlines that EHIC is no substitute for travel insurance
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