We highly recommend everyone travelling to the EU gets a FREE EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) however it’s important to remember what the card does and doesn’t do.
- The card is free for most UK residents (full details of eligibility criteria)
- The card is valid for use in all 27 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.) but is not accepted in Turkey or anywhere else in the world!
- You still need travel insurance
- The EHIC card will not pay for a flight home in an emergency
- The card grants you access to the same medical care that the people living in that country get for free. e.g. If they have a poor equivalent of our NHS then that is what you get, if there is a nice big private hospital that all the tourists use, you will be going down the road to the one the locals uses unless you’ve got travel insurance.
- Many countries still charge for lots of their medical care as they don’t have an NHS (National Health Service) as advanced as ours. So even with a EHIC card you may have to pay as well (or get your insurance company to cover the costs or cover your treatment in a private hospital).
Remember you can get 2-for-1 cinema tickets all year when you apply for insurance.