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The European Health Insurance Card: The Facts that Matter

Personal_Finance / Travel & Holidays Feb 28, 2019 - 11:52 AM GMT

By: Dylan_Moran

Personal_Finance

Good quality healthcare is still a huge issue being tackled by many countries around the world. But for residents in European Union member countries, quality healthcare is now made more accessible through the European Health Insurance Card. This card is granted to citizens either free of charge or at a reduced cost where card holders will get access to medical treatment in 31 EU and EEA countries during a temporary stay. The card replaced the E111 card after it was discontinued in 2005.

The EHIC, however, is taking the spotlight again but this time, due to concerns over its validity after the UK exits the EU. This means that the EHIC will only work for UK citizens until March 29, 2019. But while the decision whether EU health card holders from the UK can continue to use its privileges or not, let’s take a closer look at all the facts that matter when it comes to the European Health Insurance Card:


The Benefits of Getting a European Health Insurance Card

Being an EHIC holder means that you can get medical treatment for a sudden illness or accident, a pre-existing condition that requires monitoring or re-occurrence happens while you’re abroad or routine maternity care. The card will offer coverage until you return to your own country.

How the European Health Insurance Card Works

When you’re travelling to any EU/EEA member country or Switzerland, you can take advantage of any treatment, medication or checkup as long as that is not the purpose of your travel. Some states will not let charge anything for state healthcare, but in some areas, you will still need to pay for treatment and ask for a receipt or certificate to get reimbursement once you get back to your home country. Just make sure to present your EHIC to the hospital staff, doctor or pharmacy so you can reclaim costs later.  

You have to remember that the EHIC only covers unplanned care during a visit to another country. So, if you break a leg or catch a virus while travelling, you can get treatment free of charge or at a low cost during your stay. It also covers ongoing care for serious medical conditions like diabetes or coronary heart disease. Any planned treatments where someone will go to another member state for the purpose of treatment, however, will not be covered by the EHIC so make sure to ask your insurer before getting any treatment. The EHIC also doesn’t cover private healthcare, rescue and repatriation, crime and lost items, and non-emergency treatments. It will only be covered with the agreement of your insurer or the national social security administration.

What You Need to Remember as an EHIC Holder

As an EHIC card holder, you need to keep these things in mind:

  • All your family members need their own EHIC. Children under 16 years old need a parent or guardian when applying for EHIC. You can also apply on behalf of children who are still under the age of 19 or in full-time education.
  • In case of a lost or stolen EU health card, you can get a replacement within 7-10 days after your request that is if you are in your home country. But if you lost your card while travelling in another country and you need treatment, call the DWP OHT to ask for a Provisional Replacement Certificate. You can also ask someone to make the call on your behalf if you are unable to. Just make sure to have all this information when requesting for a PRC: first and last name, UK address, birthdate, national insurance number, NHS number and the email address or fax number of the hospital where you’re receiving treatment.
  • You will still need travel insurance even if you have EHIC because it doesn’t cover delays, theft and loss, rescue, repatriation and other costs, all of which will be covered by travel insurance.
  • Minimum coverage is £2m for medical, £1m for personal liability and £500 for spending money. You also get £1k cancellation cover.
  • A European Health Insurance Card is valid for five years, but you need to start the renewal process six months before the expiry date. The renewal process is still free of charge, so beware of websites offering renewals with charges.

Although the future of the EHIC will still depend on the agreements, which will be finalised after the UK’s exit from the EU, card holders can still take advantage of its privileges while the decision is still not set in stone.

By Dylan M.

© 2019 Copyright Dylan M. - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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