What has the European Health Insurance Card been replaced by?


How do I get medical assistance on holiday now EHIC has gone? Now we have now left the EU is there an one other medical insurance card and the way do I get one?

  • Since January last 12 months British residents can now not apply for a EHIC 
  • If you happen to still have an EHIC you need to use it until it expires 
  • The EHIC has been replaced by the brand new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
  • GHIC offers free treatment that locals receive in state-run hospitals in Europe

In a latest series, we answer YOUR burning money questions… 

I used to have an EHIC in case I needed medical help when on holiday in Europe. Now we have now left the European Union, what has the EHIC been replaced by and the way do I get one? SW, Lincolnshire

Ruth Jackson-Kirby replies: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) afforded British travellers free medical treatment when travelling in Europe. Since January last 12 months, British residents can now not apply for one. 

All change: The European Health Insurance Card has been replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card

The excellent news is that the EHIC has been replaced by the brand new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). And should you still have an EHIC you need to use it until it expires. 

The GHIC entitles you to the identical free treatment that locals receive in state-run hospitals and GP surgeries in Europe. 

You must get free emergency treatment and care in an accident and emergency department in most countries. 

You furthermore may won’t often should pay for treatment for pre-existing medical conditions and maternity care – unless you’ve got gone abroad to offer birth. If needed, you must also get free oxygen and kidney dialysis in most places. 

Nevertheless, state healthcare is just not free in all European countries, so there isn’t a guarantee a GHIC will get you the treatment you would like without cost. 

Ceri McMillan, travel insurance spokesperson for comparison website Go Compare, says: ‘Many countries haven’t got a free healthcare service as we do within the UK. If private healthcare is your only option, a GHIC is not going to cover this.’ 

You must due to this fact still take out travel insurance for trips in Europe, even when you’ve got a GHIC. That way, you might be covered should you need private care or have to be flown home. 

McMillan adds: ‘Travel insurance continues to be needed for eventualities similar to cancellations, disruptions, and if anything happens to your luggage or personal belongings.’ 

Also, do not be fooled by the name of the GHIC: it doesn’t cover you throughout the globe. 

It covers you within the 27 member countries of the European Union, but not the non-EU countries that the EHIC covered, which were Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. 

The Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican don’t accept the GHIC or the EHIC. 

Nevertheless, the UK does have reciprocal healthcare agreements with a number of other countries including Australia and Latest Zealand, and Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. This implies you could use your GHIC to access free state medical care in these countries. 

Nevertheless, be sure that you read up on the agreement before you travel to any of them, so exactly what you might be covered for. 

You may apply for a GHIC without cost on the NHS website at nhs.uk/usingthe-nhs/healthcare-abroad/ apply-for-a-free-uk-global-healthinsurance-card-ghic. If you happen to cannot apply online you possibly can phone 0191 218 1999 for assistance. 

Ensure you apply for a GHIC directly via the NHS website. There are plenty of third-party web sites that attempt to charge you to use for one and so they are sometimes made to look just like the official website, so beware. You must never should pay for a GHIC. 

To use for the cardboard, you will need to offer your National Insurance number, and, in some cases, it’s possible you’ll be asked to your NHS number. You can even be asked to your full name, address and date of birth. 

You’ll find your NI number on a payslip or letters about your pension or advantages. If you happen to haven’t got your NHS number, you possibly can look it up at nhs.uk/nhs-services/onlineservices/find-nhs-number. 

GHICs last for five years and should you lose yours you possibly can apply for a substitute online at NHS.uk. 

Finally, do not forget to take your GHIC with you whenever you travel, and print out details of your travel insurance. 

You will have to point out each to medical staff when in search of treatment and to make an insurance claim. It’s also value taking a photograph of your GHIC and emailing it to yourself so you’ve got a duplicate must you lose it while abroad. 

If you happen to do forget your GHIC and want medical assistance when you are in an EU country, you possibly can apply for a Provisional Substitute Certificate (PRC) via the NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. 

Go to: nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us/ overseas-healthcare-services-contact-us. Another person can apply for a PRC in your behalf if needed. 

In response to the NHS it’s taking longer than usual to process latest GHIC applications. 

It advises that should you need emergency treatment while abroad and haven’t yet received a card, you must apply for a PRC.



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