European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) was bought in as of the 1st January 2006, to replace the E111s.

The EHIC can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness when travelling within Europe. 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 can also be used to receive treatment for pre-existing illnesses, chronic diseases and routine maternity care. If you are travelling within Europe and have not already done so you will need to apply for a EHIC from one of the following:

  • completing the online form or
  • calling 0845 606 2030 (European Health Insurance Application Line); or
  • completing a form available at your local post office

Every family member needs to have their own EHIC card. You can apply for an EHIC 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 EHIC lasts for five years and allows UK nationals, who are resident in the UK, to receive free, or reduced-cost, emergency healthcare when visiting European Economic Area (EEA) countries. These countries include all those belonging to the European Union (EU) as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Apply for a EHIC form.