NHS privileges are something we take for granted in the UK, however, there are many territories within the EEA (European Economic Area) where even the most basic of health care comes at a price. Prior to 2006, a form known as ‘E111′, issued by the UK Health Authority entitled both single and family travellers to the same level (and cost) of health care as residents of EEA countries and Switzerland. As of 1st September 2005, E111 is now invalid, replaced with a similar, yet smaller format of documentation known as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card). Available to all EU nationals above the age of 16, the European Health Insurance Card remains unconditionally free and includes all health care entitlements previous afforded by E111 for a set period of five years. Cardholders must be aware that the EHIC card does not constitute a replacement for travel insurance and as such, must make appropriate arrangements for vital health cover.
1: Can I still renew my E111 Card?
2: Where do I get the European Health Insurance Card application form?
3: I have valid a EHIC Card, but I lost it – can I travel?
4: How long does a replacement EHIC Card take to arrive?
5: How do I renew my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC Card)?
6: Travel insurance or EHIC Card? Which is best or do I need both?
7: Should my 3 year old have her own EHIC Card?
8: Am I covered by my parents EHIC card?
9: I have changed address. Is my EHIC card still valid or do i have to tell them of change?
10: Is an EHIC Card the same as an NHS EHIC Card?
Can I still renew my E111 Card?
Pursuant to the new regulations introduced in September 2005, E111 is now invalid and may no longer be renewed in that context. If your E111 Card has expired, you will need to complete a new application for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), including the details of any other family members/ EHIC holders and dependents with whom you usually travel. Renew E111 card remains completely free. You can expect delivery of both your EHIC Card and PIN within 14 days of application.
Where do I get the European Health Insurance Card application form?
Residents of the UK may apply for the European Health Insurance Card via telephone, internet or by post. Postal forms can be obtained from your local Post Office, GP Surgery or downloaded via the EHIC website at: www.ehic.org.uk. Should you prefer to make a telephone application, you may do so by calling: 0845 606 230, during office hours. EEA territories elsewhere stipulate their own rules and application mediums, however, forms may usually be picked up at your local health centre or printed off from the website. EU members may also apply online via the EU Healthcard website: www.eu-healthcard.com.
I have valid a EHIC Card, but I lost it – can I travel?
If your European Health Insurance Card is lost or stolen, it is imperative you contact the authority relevant to your jurisdiction – if already on holiday. Alternatively, if you discover the loss of your EHIC card prior to planned travel, you should inform the EHIC Applications Department. They will check the validity of your card against details provided at registration and subsequently send a replacement, or advise you of documentation to take for temporary cover. You can still travel freely without a valid EHIC card, however you may find any claims made to your insurance provider will be deemed ‘invalid’ without your card, or temporary replacement.
How long does a replacement EHIC Card take to arrive?
E111 replacement are generally dispatched within 14 days for UK Nationals, however, the speed at which you receive your replacement can be affected by how you order. Since postal requests may not reach the EHIC administration team for 3-5 working days, it is highly recommendable to telephone for a replacement. Delays may occur during peak postal periods such as Christmas and Easter, therefore EHIC highlight a maximum period of 21 days for all replacements. Similar conditions will apply for all EU countries.
How do I renew my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC Card)?
EHIC Cardholders are subject to the same reapplication process as those replacing their old E111. The new european health card is valid for a period of five years, after which you will be required to reapply either online, via telephone or by post. You will need your issued PIN, along with details of any other EHIC Cardholders currently resident in the household for medical reference. There are several instances where it will not be possible for your application to be accepted via the online form:
- Change of Name/ Marital Status: If you have recently been wed, divorced or widowed; or you have changed your name by Deed Poll, you will be required to call EHIC in the first instance to renew your application. It is probable that you will need to provide relevant documentation as proof at a later date, either by fax or by post.
- Change of Address: Any alteration of address should be reported prior to making a renewal application, since this will greatly speed up the process. If you have neglected to do so, you will need to reapply via telephone, quoting your old E111 or EHIC Card PIN.
Travel insurance or EHIC Card? Which is best or do I need both?
Travel insurance is a necessity no holidaymaker can do without. While the European Health Insurance Card provides adequate piece of mind for emergency health care, it in no way replaces the multifluous benefits of travel health insurance. Standard cover will protect in the event of flight cancellation and accommodation extension, should illness or injury prevent your scheduled return. In the event of severe accidents and death, travel health insurance will extend to emergency evacuation home or return of remains. A slew of leading travel insurance providers now include the EHIC Card as essential criterion for application, therefore it’s wise to ensure yours is up to date.
Should my 3 year old have her own EHIC Card?
Children under 16 years of age are currently exempt from acceptance of the EHIC Card, as they are considered ‘dependents’, however, it does not mean they are excluded from the statutory health benefits it provides. Children may be included upon parental applications, with no limitation upon the number per card. EHIC do not reject applications from fathers including children, however, if yourself and a partner are liable to be travelling separately with your children at any time, they will need to be included on both cards.
Am I covered by my parents EHIC card?
If you are aged 16 or under at the time of travelling, you will be covered by your parents’ EHIC card. Should your 17th birthday fall 3 days before, or during the term of the holiday, you will need to apply for a card in advance for yourself. In the rare case your card does not arrive prior to departure, you can invariably still benefit from cover afforded by a parent’s card, providing you have notified the Administration Department.
I have changed address. Is my EHIC card still valid or do i have to tell them of change?
Any amendment to your name, address or telephone number should be immediately reported to the Administration so that your contact details are up-to-date in the event of holiday emergency. In most cases, you will not be required to complete a new application. Consequently, if your address has changed and your EHIC Card is shortly to expire, you will need to fill out a new application, citing both your previous and new address, along with the old PIN provided for your previous card.
Is an EHIC Card the same as an NHS EHIC Card?
Effective May 1st, 2010, new rules came into force regarding the issue of the European Health Insurance Card. Prior to this, EU member states had been solely responsible for the issue of EHIC Cards to resident nationals, including the UK which utilized the National Health Service (NHS). For this reason, the UK EHIC Card is often referred to as the nhs european health insurance card. Changes to EU legislation now mean that the UK is responsible for the issue of EHIC Cards to all EU nationals, regardless of territory or government. You will also qualify if:
- Receive your retirement pension or state benefit in the UK and have registered your E121/ S1 form with your native health authority.
- You are a dependent of a family member, carer or guardian whom lives/ works in the UK and you have registered form E109 with your native authority.