Useful Health Tips

What is an EHIC Card and Do You Still Need One?

May 29
14:04 2019

An EHIC Card, also known as a European Health Insurance Card, is issued free of charge to legal residents of participating countries, allowing holders to get free or reduced costs for healthcare in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) member state.

If you’ve never had an EHIC card, surely there will be questions you might have, like who needs this card, what expenses this card covers and doesn’t cover, and how to apply for one of these cards. The good news is, we have the answers to your questions.

Who still needs an EHIC card?

Anyone insured or covered by an EEA or Switzerland statutory social security scheme residing in a participating country can benefit from an EHIC card. Participating countries include 32 European Economic Area (EEA) states plus Switzerland.

The benefit of an EHIC card is that you can receive healthcare coverage, even in another participating country, allowing you to receive the healthcare you require without having to go back home. Each person travelling will need their own EHIC card. Keep in mind that this card does not replace or supplement travel insurance.

If you reside in the UK, your access to healthcare via an EHIC card while visiting a European country may change if the UK leaves the EA without a deal on October 31, 2019.

What does it cover?

EHIC cards cover your unexpected healthcare needs while you are travelling in an EEA state or Switzerland. To receive coverage, show your card to your doctor, dentist, or other medical professionals.

EHIC cards cover illnesses, injuries from accidents, and even treatment for chronic and pre-existing conditions.

What does it NOT cover?

EHIC cards only cover treatment that you require during travel. EHIC cards cannot be used for treatment or procedures that are planned ahead. For planned treatment, you will have to apply for an S2 for funding. On top of that, different countries may have different guidelines with how they accept EHIC cards.

Travelling in France, you may be required to pay a doctor or dentist directly, even with an EHIC. However, you may pick up a treatment form to receive reimbursement. Likewise, you may have to still pay out of pocket for dental treatment in Switzerland and Spain and must pay to pick up prescriptions from a chemist when travelling in Cyprus.

Regardless of the country, EHIC cards never cover mountain rescue in ski resorts, medical treatment on cruise ships, lost or stolen property, or travel back to the UK.

How do you apply for an EHIC card?

Before applying for an EHIC card, keep in mind that this is free of charge. According to NARPO News, there are many online scams from third party websites claiming to have the application for an EHIC card, charging applicants to apply. When officially applying for an EHIC card, you will never have to give your bank account or card information.

You can apply for or renew an EHIC card from the official online form on the NHS website. If you are not from the EEA, UK, or Switzerland, you will need to show proof of residency and apply via post.


Get more information from this site today to learn more about European Health Insurance Cards.


The beauty of an EHIC card is that you can receive healthcare coverage or even free-of-charge healthcare services in any participating country that you’ll be travelling in, saving you potentially thousands of pounds. Best of all, these cards are free of charge to legal residents in Switzerland or an EEA state.

However, before applying for an EHIC card, beware of third party websites that try to charge you for this free card. If you are still uncertain of whether or not an EHIC card would be beneficial to you, conduct further research.

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