What is an EHIC card?

EHICPlus card

The EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) is the replacement to the E111 form and entitles UK citizens to free or reduced cost emergency care in any of the (EU) member countries.

The EHIC card became the sole healthcare entitlement document on 1 January 2006.

To find out more about the card please visit the official Government EHIC website which explains all the benefits in detail, or get a leaflet from the Post Office.

Why do I need an EHIC card?

In order to be treated in a state hospital in Europe you will need to present your EHIC card on admission. State Healthcare services are widely available throughout the EU, from remote villages to the most popular tourist resorts.

There are many advantages to having treatment using the EHIC:

  • State healthcare facilities are regulated by governments and provide care of the highest possible standards. The same level of regulation does not apply to all private medical facilities.
  • Medical staff are regulated and have to be properly qualified and trained on an ongoing basis.
  • State medical facilities operate all year round and have higher levels of trained staff on duty 24 hours a day.
  • Paediatric care is properly regulated with appropriate staff on site 24 hours a day.
  • In many parts of Europe, State facilities are the only medical facility available should you have an accident or fall ill.
  • While some private hospitals have ICUs, these are mainly for postoperative supervision unlike State hospitals that provide both facilities and expertise for serious ICU cases.
  • The emphasis in many private ‘tourist’ hospitals is on customer relations and domestic comforts like satellite tv and can compromise on medical expertise (Private hospitals will often use state hospital doctors on an adhoc basis and are not resident in the hospital).
  • Serious medical cases nearly always end up being transferred to state medical facilities where they have the expertise and facilities to cope with such cases.

Why do I need travel insurance?

Whilst the EHIC card entitles the UK citizen to medical treatment in a state hospital, in some countries there may be additional charges and costs not covered by the EHIC card.

EHICPlus provides many benefits including any costs in a state hospital not covered by the EHIC card and authorised by the medical assistance company, rescue services, additional accommodation and travel costs incurred as a result of needing treatment or repatriation costs back to the UK. It also provides cover for other events such as: ambulance transfers; outpatient treatment; holiday cancellation; missed departure; baggage and much more.

EHICPlus has been designed as a specialist travel insurance product with the backing of the worlds most reputable insurer to offer the ‘travel’ cover you need while you are on holiday. By agreeing to use an EHIC facility we are able to pass on the savings directly to you, making the EHICPlus policy the sensible choice at an affordable price.

You can travel with confidence with this policy, it is underwritten by Mapfre Assistance and includes a 24-hour assistance company on hand to assist you through any medical incident you might have on holiday.

All our claims are handled in a fast and efficient manner, as you would expect when you have to make a claim.