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Be prepared for your holiday, and make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It costs nothing to apply for or renew an EHIC. You can apply through the NHSBSA website here . It is also possible to apply by phoning the automated service on: 0300 3301350

You can find answers to all the frequently asked questions here

You can ask questions and find out more information on the official facebook page here

How do I apply for the EHIC?

The EHIC is free of charge and you can apply or renew a card via the official EHIC online application form. 2017-01-05-11_25_18-startBeware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them. You can apply online for an EHIC, which is free of charge. You can also apply by phoning the automated service on 0300 3301350, or you can download the EHIC application form (PDF, 122kb) and return it to the NHS Business Services Authority. Your card will normally arrive within seven days if you apply using the official process.

What is the EHIC for ?

An EHIC will enable you to access state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland, at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK. It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

What does the EHIC cover?

The card gives access to reduced-cost or free medical treatment from state healthcare providers. This includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition that becomes necessary during your visit. It includes routine maternity care (not only because of illness or an accident), as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth. However, if the birth happens unexpectedly, the card will cover the cost of all medical treatment for mother and baby that is linked to the birth.

The card covers the provision of oxygen and kidney dialysis, although you will have to arrange and pre-book these treatments before you go on holiday. You can ask your GP or hospital for advice, but make sure you are not booked with a private healthcare provider, as these are not covered by the EHIC.

The card also covers routine medical care for people with pre-existing conditions that need monitoring. The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property.

Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist that you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.

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You can apply through the NHS website here . It is also possible to apply by phoning the automated service on: 0300 3301350
Another way to apply is to download an application form (PDF, 122kb) and return it to the NHS Business Services Authority, which processes all applications.
NHS Business Services Authority,
European Health Insurance Card,
EHIC Applications,
Sandyford House,
Archbold Terrace,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE2 1BF
The following details will be necessary in order to complete your application:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland)

Please note that temporary National Insurance numbers aren’t valid. Temporary National Insurance numbers uses the prefix ‘TN’, the date of birth and M or F to denote gender (for example TN131160M). These numbers are no longer accepted and cannot be used to apply for your card.

You can find answers to all the frequently asked questions here

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