Travel Health Information Sheets
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles UK resident tourists and short term business travellers to free or low cost emergency health care in European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. The EHIC allows the same access to state-provided healthcare as a resident of the country being visited.
The EHIC is free of charge and remains valid for five years. Travelling to Europe without a current EHIC may leave travellers at risk of expensive medical bills. Although some countries will expect payment towards their healthcare, travellers may be able to seek reimbursement.
The EHIC does not cover all medical costs and is not a replacement for travel insurance. All travellers should obtain comprehensive travel insurance prior to travel. The EHIC is only valid if produced at the time of accessing medical treatment, therefore travellers should ensure that they carry their EHIC with them at all times.
Further information on the EHIC is available on the NHS Choices website.
EEA citizens can apply for an EHIC online, non EEA citizens need to apply by post. Full details can be found on the EHIC application website.