What is an EHIC and do I need to carry one?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006, and allows you to claim European Healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. If you are travelling to countries within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland you are strongly advised to carry one. It is not an alternative to travel insurance, and will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue, repatriation to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid travel insurance policy.

If you use your EHIC and your medical expenses claim is reduced because you have done so, you will not be required to pay the medical excess on your claim. You can apply online for an EHIC at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers, or by telephoning +44 (0)300 330 1350, this is a free service for UK residents.