EHIC – What’s The Deal?

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You only have to google anything to do with travel tips to find the word ‘insurance’ high up on the importance list – this is entirely right, because travelling without adequate insurance is foolish and actually downright stupid; what if something was to go wrong?

Of course, you shouldn’t live your life with ‘what ifs’ in the background, but at the same time it’s always sensible to be prepared for any eventuality, especially when you are in a location which isn’t familiar to you.

Health should never take a backseat in favour of a holiday, and there are many ways you can easily combine the two, to ensure a happy, fun, and very healthy holiday outcome.

So, if you’ve heard of the EHIC, you might be wondering what on earth it is. Let us explain.

The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card is a handy piece of plastic which basically gives you the ultimate in healthy peace of mind whilst you’re away. There are some limitations, which we will discuss, but the bottom line is that if you are eligible for a EHIC, then you should be obtaining one, because they’re free, and very quick and easy to order.

Provided you are travelling from an eligible country, to a member of the EEU (European Economic Union) and Switzerland, then that handy piece of plastic will mean you are eligible for healthcare should you need it. For instance, if you are admitted to hospital and you need an emergency operation, your EHIC will mean you are eligible for the same treatment you would require back in your home country. The EHIC doesn’t cover private treatment, so do bear that in mind, but for emergencies, the EHIC is invaluable.

If you are pregnant, the card also covers you for routine antenatal care, provided you didn’t travel to that country with the sole intention of giving birth. On top of this, pre-existing medical conditions are covered, again, provided you didn’t travel with the intention of receiving treatment.

Put simply, the EHIC entitles you to healthcare as you would get back home.

Now, a word of warning which we must cover – having a EHIC about your person does not mean you don’t need to purchase a high quality travel insurance policy, because not everything is covered solely with your EHIC. Travel insurance covers you for a variety of other different travel-related factors, such as cancellation, or lost or stolen belongings, which obviously the EHIC is not going to cover. On top of this, the EHIC is not valid on cruises, so comprehensive travel insurance is required.

It literally takes five minutes to head online and order a EHIC and it lasts for a long duration of time. Every single member of your family will require one, children included, but the delivery time is fast, so there really is no excuse for not ordering one.

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