A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) enables you to access medical care whilst travelling to a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Whilst some treatment may be free, the EHIC will also allow you to access medical treatment at a reduced cost.
Do I still need travel insurance?
However, the EHIC does not negate the need for travel insurance. Whilst an EHIC will ensure that you can access some treatment, it doesn’t cover everything. If you need to be flown home for further treatment, for example, this wouldn’t be covered under the EHIC.
Similarly, if your trip includes excursions or sports activities, you may not be covered for any specific treatments that you require. If you’re injured whilst skiing or snowboarding, for example, you may need to be transported from the scene of the accident to the nearest medical facility. It’s unlikely that your EHIC would cover these costs so it’s vital that you have appropriate travel insurance in place.
Furthermore, not all kinds of holidays or trips are covered under the EHIC. Although many people choose to travel around Europe on a cruise, for example, the EHIC doesn’t cover this form of travel. If you’re injured or unwell whilst on a cruise, you would need valid insurance in order to cover the costs of your care.
Reducing your insurance premiums
Many travel insurers now insist that people have a valid EHIC before they will provide them with a policy. If your treatment is covered under the EHIC, it obviously saves insurers money so this can reduce the cost of your policy.
In addition to this, travel insurers may be willing to waive certain fees or excesses if you have a EHIC. Whilst travel insurance isn’t normally too expensive, when combined with the EHIC, it provides a cost-effective way of ensuring access to treatment.
Although the EHIC doesn’t enable you to travel to another country for the express purposes of obtaining medical treatment, it does apply if you’re suddenly hurt or injured whilst abroad. To apply for your EHIC or to renew your EHIC today, why not contact us or complete our online form?