Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
WHEN Brilly asked GrAnt if he had remembered to bring the cards with him on holiday, GrAnt had visions of late night poker games and cleaning out his friendly, yet naïve, fellow InsureAnt.
Unfortunately for GrAnt, who was still working out if his box of poker chips would fit in his carry on luggage, Brilly was talking about the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
When you are hitting the continent, carrying the EHIC means you’re leaving nothing to chance as far as your health is concerned.
With the EHIC, you can get medical treatment in most European countries which is either free or at a greatly reduced cost.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to Europe, you may remember the old E111 forms. Well, they done away a good few years ago when the EHIC was introduced.
Carrying the card entitles to state-provided healthcare in whatever country you are in, however, the standard of that care can very greatly vary between countries. The NHS provides a pretty comprehensive range of healthcare in the UK, but some European countries aren’t the same, so you may still have to pay for private treatment in certain places.
Therefore, you’ll still need to take out travel insurance before you head off on your hols as the EHIC won’t cover everything.
The EHIC is a handy first-line of defence against any medical mishaps when abroad, but it’s always advisable to have a good standard of health cover included in your travel insurance, whether you heading to Europe or further afield.
Getting your hands of a EHIC is pretty simple and can be done in a number of ways. The application is free and you can get details on how to apply via the Department of Health’s website here.
You can also pick up an application form from your local Post Office, as well as a leaflet which will give you the lowdown on the healthcare which is available in each European country.
If you are planning a trip to Europe, it’s a good idea to get you EHIC application form in about six weeks before jetting off.