What does a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) cover me for?


The European Health Insurance Card complements your travel insurance rather than replacing it. It gives you access to state-provided medical treatment in the country you are visiting. But it isn't an alternative to travel insurance and you may still need to contribute towards the cost of your care. For example, in France a patient may be expected to pay up front for a consultation with a doctor but will have up to 70% of the cost reimbursed later. Each member of your family will need a separate EHIC card. Check the expiry date well in advance of your departure date. An EHIC can also help to avoid paying a travel policy excess. You can apply for your free EHIC online at or call 0845 606 2030. The NHS has created an EHIC app which includes a guide on how to use the card, emergency telephone numbers, covered treatments and costs and how to claim a reimbursement. Beware of official-looking websites which charge for an EHIC unnecessarily.