The European Health Insurance Card
European Health Insurance Card lets you access free medical treatments provided by the state during your visit to the European Union countries. Eligibility to the card is based on insurance coverage from a state social security of any member state of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. The UK, however, issue their cards through the NHS. Users should, however, note that this card does not act as an alternate for travel insurance as it does not cover other healthcare costs such as return flight to the home country or stolen belongings. The card does not include any extra expenses incurred if the user is traveling solely for treatment in the EU. You cannot use your card entirely for free services since almost all countries in the EU have different systems that offer various services at different prices. Some services could be open in one state but costly in another country thus you should do your research on the costs of services in your country of destination.
<strong>How to apply for EHIC</strong>
It is very quick to apply or <a href=”https://www.europeanhealthinsurancecard.org.uk/”>renew EHIC</a> online through the official site of EHIC. However, you should beware of personal websites. Usually, when you apply for your card online you can get it within seven days, your card will be valid for five years. The application for the card online is free of charge, but just like any other business you could be a scam by personal sites, therefore, you should be cautious when applying for your card online. Alternatively, you can apply for your card by calling the automated EHIC application facility through 03003301350. The surest way, however, is by downloading the application form in pdf filling it and applying via post.
<strong>Is there a need for everybody traveling to apply for their EHIC card?</strong>
Everybody should have an EHIC card when they are traveling. However people can use the same card for themselves, their partners and any dependent children under the age of 19 but are in full-time education program in The EU. You must, however, provide the details for every person covered by the card which includes NHS number, surname, and first name and the date of birth. A parent should provide these details for children under 16 years.
<strong>Medical treatment covered by EHIC</strong>
Your card will cover any treatment of diseases that you may need to be treated when you visit the EU, EEA or Switzerland. The card also enables you to receive treatment for chronic long-term conditions such as existing ailments like renal infections (kidney dialysis). The card will also cater for routine maternity care given that you are not visiting the region solely to give birth. You should, however, note that your EHIC card does not cater for private medical attention.
<strong>How Brexit will affect patients with EHIC card</strong>
It is projected that if the UK leaves the EU the access to healthcare services by UK citizens when they visit the EU is likely to change. EHIC cards issued by the UK will be valid till the day the UK leaves EU then it will become obsolete. British citizens are encouraged to renew EHIC cards through the official online channel which is free of charge.