Lifefyle explains the new, post-Brexit healthcare agreement for UK citizens travelling in the EU.
If you are one of the 27 million UK citizens issued with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), giving reciprocal, state provided healthcare rights to EU citizens, then you should read this.
Whether you travel for business, studies, or pleasure, your EHIC has thus far been an indispensable and free addition to your travel pack throughout the EU as well as in Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Effectively, it’s like carrying the BRILLIANT NHS in your pocket.
It has covered you for accidents, emergencies and maternity care as well as chronic and pre-existing medical conditions. Whilst not a replacement for good comprehensive travel insurance (which may cover predicaments not covered by the EHIC for example, repatriation flights for seriously ill patients or mountain rescue) this EU-wide arrangement has for many years been a welcome assurance to UK travellers that their medical needs will be satisfied in the EU without incurring exorbitant fees.
So, now that the UK has left the EU where do we stand?
If you are planning any European travels and your EHIC card is still valid, keep it with you! It is still valid until its expiry date, printed on the front of the card.
If your EHIC has expired or will expire soon, you will need to apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). We like the name twist! This card is also free and affords the holder similar rights to that of the EHIC but with a few key differences.
The GHIC will not be valid in Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
Most people can apply online using the official NHS GHIC application form. Do ensure you apply at least two weeks before travelling to allow time for it to arrive by snail mail. NOW is when you create a reminder for yourself in your easy to use task list on LIFEFYLE.
Don’t be fooled into applying through any unofficial websites — they may charge you or harvest your information for unscrupulous reasons. Go straight to the NHS website (link above).
UK students planning to study in an EU country, cannot apply for the GHIC using the online form. You will have to apply by post including a letter from your UK school or university. You will then receive a GHIC which expires when the course finishes.
Enjoy using Lifefyle’s seamless task list and we will ensure we keep an eye out for things that you need to remember to keep yourself and your loved ones organised and secure. Available from the App store and Google play or www.lifefyle.com