The UK and the EU have reached an agreement on healthcare when visiting the EU.
Millions of UK Citizens can still access free healthcare across Europe after Brexit through a new UK GLOBAL HEALTH INSURANCE CARD (GHIC).
If you apply for a card now, you'll receive a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of an EHIC.
You do not need to apply for a GHIC if you already have an EHIC. Your EHIC remains valid in the EU until it expires.
If you need treatment while visiting a country where GHIC is valid and you do not have your card with you, you can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC).
The Helpline to get a (PRC) is 0044 191 218 1999 - call from the hospital or clinic where you are receiving treatment and select 'option 2'. A (PRC) can only be issued if you need treatment.
What is a GHIC?
A GHIC is a UK Global Health Insurance Card. If you're a citizen of the UK, the card entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment when you're in an EU country.
You follow the same rules as a citizen of that country – so if their medical care is completely free, so is yours.
An estimated 5.2 million EHICs are set to expire in 2021 – if you have one, check the expiry date.
To get one, just fill out an application on the EHIC website or by calling the NHS on 0300 330 1350. Once you've got a card, it's valid for the next 5 years.
Your card is valid for five years and each card covers just one person. If you have a child under 16, include them on your application and you’ll both receive your own GHIC.
You can also get treatment for a chronic or pre-existing medical condition during your trip. The GHIC card must be carried with you at all times if you need treatment – so pop it in your bag or wallet when you're out and about.
Your GHIC card is valid in the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (Southern), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. From the 1st January 2021, GHICs and most UK EHICs will not cover you in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. If you are visiting these countries, make sure you have travel insurance with health cover and check the GOV.UK travel advice.
The GHIC is valuable protection, but it isn't a replacement for travel insurance.
By having both, you reduce the risk of large medical bills, delays in treatment and a huge amount of stress in the event of a medical emergency.
You pay the same as a citizen of the country you are currently in. That means if citizens of that country are expected to pay for medical treatment, you will too.
By Telephone - You can telephone the NHSBSA automated GHIC Application Line on 0300 330 1350. Your application should be processed within 10 days. There will be no charge for making your application in this way.
Online - You can use the NHSBSA website which can be found at www.nhs.uk/ehic to apply for your GHIC. There will be no charge for making your application in this way and you should receive your card(s) within 7 - 10 working days. Alternatively you can use our check and send service. Customers utilising our application service can normally expect to receive their card(s) within 10 - 14 working days. Prior to forwarding your application to the NHSBSA on the official website our staff will examine your application for errors made during the application process, such as undeliverable addresses and incorrect eligibility ages. A processing fee of £29.98 will be charged to cover administrative and operational expenses.