Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
25 July 2014 09:07
Travellers are being urged to ensure their EHIC card is valid
Holidaymakers are being urged to check whether they are travelling with valid documents after it emerged that 4.5 million European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are set to expire in 2014.
Travellers with valid EHICs, which were launched eight years ago as a replacement for the E111 form, are entitled to receive the same level of care in a medical emergency that the residents in the country of travel would.
This applies to the 27 member states of the EU, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway - all the countries that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA). However, it does not apply to Turkey, which is not currently a member of either the EU or EEA.
Depending on the country people holiday in, they may receive their treatment for free or at a significantly reduced cost.
Travellers with EHICs are, however, also being urged to take out travel insurance as the cards should be seen as an addition to travel cover rather than a replacement. People planning a holiday who suffer from an ongoing health condition are urged to arrange pre-existing medical travel insurance.
Having a valid EHIC can work in tandem with travel insurance, having a positive effect on any medical claims made abroad. A recent poll by Gocompare found that the vast majority of single-trip travel insurance policies (92%) are charging an excess when travellers make a medical claim.
However, nine in 10 of these policies (90%) would waive the excess if the insurance holders had used their EHICs correctly while abroad. The same was found to be true for multi-trip travel insurance policies.
The survey also found that more than half of holidaymakers (54%) mistakenly believe they are entitled to free medical care in every European country if they have an EHIC card, while 6% thought they can get free care around the world with their card.
A spokesman for Gocompare stressed that the level of medical care travellers receive varies from country to country, and holidaymakers should not expect the same treatment as in an NHS hospital or at their GP back home.
21 October 2016
A union is warning of travel chaos over the Christmas period at four major UK airports, unless a baggage carrier transfers staff to other companies.
20 October 2016
Thousands of passengers faced travel chaos yesterday after rail service through the Channel Tunnel was suspended because of a power failure.
19 October 2016
People planning holidays from Gatwick Airport in the run up to Christmas could face travel chaos as unions threaten to strike over a pension dispute.
18 October 2016
Eurostar has said it will cut 12 services from London St Pancras to Paris and Brussels.
15 October 2016
Tourists in Thailand are being advised to "behave respectfully" and wear "sombre" clothing as the country mourns King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
14 October 2016
Holidaymakers are being warned to buy currency in advance as exchange rates being offered are as little as 0.96 euro to the pound at airports.
13 October 2016
Scientists say there is strong evidence air pollution and vitamin D deficiency can cause dementia.
12 October 2016
More people are going on holiday than at any time in the past five years despite terror attacks and the impact of Brexit, according to a study.
11 October 2016
People from across North Carolina had to be rescued from their homes as the downgraded Hurricane Matthew blew out to sea - leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
04 October 2016
People travelling abroad is on the rise, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
08 October 2016
A hurricane pelting the coast of Florida and described as a 'monster' by a local official has brought chaos to the state, with flights cancelled, homes evacuated and theme parks shut.
07 October 2016
Low-cost airline easyJet says its profits will nosedive as terrorist attacks and air traffic control strikes are taking their toll on the company.