What is an EHIC Card and Why Would You Need One?

The EHIC card is a free card that is distributed to applicants who will be travelling to countries in Europe. EHIC stands for European Health Insurance Card. It is important you have a strong understanding of what this card is and why you may need one.

What Is an EHIC Card?

EHIC cards give individuals the right to receive state-provided healthcare services when they are temporarily visiting or living in the European Economic Area or Switzerland. It is imperative you learn info about your EHIC so the right steps can be taken.

The EHIC card provides medically necessary treatment until you leave the country and return home. It is important to realize that this card does not replace travel insurance. Both should be purchased when travelling to these areas of the world so you are fully protected.

Why Do You Need an EHIC Card?

There are 27 European countries that honour the EHIC card. If you plan on holidaying in Europe, applying for an EHIC card is an essential first step


Healthcare abroad can be expensive for travellers. Although you would like to believe the unthinkable will not occur and injuries will not strike, this is not reasonable.

Accidents can happen at any time and always seem to occur when you are farthest from home. Being in an unfamiliar country without medical coverage can be stressful.

Should you become ill or injured on holiday and need immediate medical care, the costs could be exorbitant. Having an EHIC card ensures your medical care is provided at the state benefit level even though you are not a citizen of the country.

How to Apply

To apply for an EHIC card, you will simply need to fill out the application form, which can be done online. You will need to apply for a card for each family member, including minor children.

Once the card has been issued, it is good for five years and will then need to be renewed.

Issued EHIC cards are good for medical care in countries that are a part of the European Union.

The card is completely free, and once you receive the card, it always needs to be carried. This card covers accidents, illnesses, and even pre-existing medical conditions that require immediate care or hospitalization.

Although this card is essential for European travel, it cannot be used to replace travel insurance. Some people mistakenly believe this card offers them free medical treatment, but that is not entirely true. You will have access to the same medical benefits as the citizens of the country. If they receive free medical care, you will also.


If you are planning any European travels, besides a passport, apply for an EHIC card. The application process is simple and the card is good for five full years so there are no stressful applications to fill out each year.

Having this card in hand will offer great peace of mind should something go wrong in the course of your holiday travels. When you purchase travel insurance and apply for an EHIC card, your medical needs will be covered so your out-of-pocket costs are not so high. These cards give you peace of mind in knowing your family is protected while travelling abroad.

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