Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) & Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) was bought in on 1st January 2006, to replace the E111s, but is now being replaced by the new Global Health Insurance Card.

If you still have a valid EHIC card this will still remain valid until the expiry date on the card but you can apply for the new GHIC card up to 6 months before your current card expires. The EHIC / GHIC can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness when travelling within an EU country and Switzerland. The card entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment within the country they are visiting and the medical service provided would be the same as you would receive if you were a resident of the country's 'insured' medical scheme.

The EHIC / GHIC card can also be used to receive treatment for pre-existing illnesses, chronic diseases and routine maternity care. If intend to travel to an EU country or Switzerland and have not already done so you will need to apply for a GHIC card direct from the NHS:

Every family member needs to have their own GHIC card. You can apply for an GHIC for your spouse, or partner, and any children up to the age of 16 (or 19 if they are in full-time education) at the same time as applying for your own. When applying, you need to have the name, date of birth and NHS, or national insurance (NI) number, of everyone you are applying for.

The new UK GHIC card may become valid in more countries in the future. Check this page before you travel.