A guide to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

What is it?

The European Health Insurance Card replaced the old EH111 form and allows you to get free or reduced cost medical care abroad.

If you are a UK resident and fall ill or have an accident abroad, the EHIC card can get you reduced-cost or free state-provided medical treatment in European member states.

How do I get a European Health Insurance Card?

Anyone over the age of 16 can apply for a free EHIC card either online or by phoning the NHS on 0300 330 1350.

How does it work?

Take your card with you when travelling abroad and if you need medical treatment and you cannot wait to receive it, you will be eligible for free or reduced-cost treatment.

Each card is valid for five years and covers one person. If you have children under 16, they can be included on the application and will receive their own card.

The EHIC card also entitles you to get treatment for a chronic or pre-existing medical condition if it becomes an issue during your trip abroad.

Countries that recognise the EHIC card are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (Southern), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.