It is not the case that all treatment is free with an EHIC card. Being granted and in possession of a valid EHIC card when in the European Union countries simply gives you access to healthcare at the same cost as local residents would pay. Obviously, in some cases this is free but in other cases, this means it would be at a reduced cost than you would pay without a valid EHIC card. Generally, it would be free if the state run healthcare of the country you are in is free to local residents.
Even if you do have to pay, depending on the country you are in, the cost with a valid EHIC card would be greatly reduced compared to having to pay for treatment without one. In this way, you can see why it’s so vital to make sure you have a valid EHIC card for each member of your party before you travel within the European Union.
It is important to remember that in some European Union countries you may be asked to pay for all or part of your medical costs up front even when you have an EHIC card. If this happens, you can apply to get a refund on these costs through your travel insurance. If you decide to do this, it is paramount to keep all your receipts and paperwork to provide evidence for your refund claim.
You may also be asked for a contribution towards medical costs such as prescriptions. This is known as co-payment and if it happened before 1st July 2014, you may be able to apply for a refund on these costs too. If this was after 1st July 2014, you won’t be, however, as the law changed on this date to scrap refunds for any co-payments.
It may be worthwhile double checking the arrangements for the medical care costs with an EHIC card before you travel to the country you are visiting. With this information in mind, you will be fully aware of your situation if you were unfortunate enough to require any medical treatment while there. Browse our site to ensure you have the EHIC know-how you need prior to travel.