The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles UK residents access to necessary, state provided medical treatment, during a temporary visit in the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland - at a reduced cost or free of charge. The EHIC is valid for five years.
As a valued Spectrum policyholder, you will have no excess to pay when the EHIC is used.
Please remember to take your EHIC with you when you travel and check that it is still valid, as you are required to present it for medical treatment. Each traveller will require a card. The EHIC will cover the costs of managing pre-existing medical conditions, maternity care or renal dialysis but it will not cover you if you are going abroad to receive medical treatment.
While the EHIC and your travel insurance policy work together when paying for certain medical costs, the EHIC does not act as a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Your EHIC only covers non-private medical assistance, whereas your travel insurance policy will cover you for the following:
View the EU Health Insurance Card video
- Travel delays
- Cancellation or curtailment
- Missed departure and repatriation Theft
- Lost luggage
- Any private medical services - ambulance (in the event of you needing emergency transport)
Dept of Health Guide to Using your EHIC Anywhere : Read more..
The EHIC is usually only accepted at state-funded hospitals. So if you needed assistance urgently and could only get to a private clinic, the EHIC won’t be able to help. It doesn’t cover mountain rescue either.
The EHIC doesn’t always entitle you to get all state-provided medical treatment free of charge. It does entitle you to the same medical care as a local resident of the country that you are in, but this may not be as comprehensive as the NHS. In some countries state-funded treatment isn’t entirely free and our policies will be able to help with the outstanding costs. What to do when using your EHIC is explained here www.which.co.uk
Countries covered by the EHIC:
Austria, Belgium,Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (not including Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
If you are travelling outside of the EU the following countries currently recognise the EHIC card and have reciprocal healthcare agreements with the UK as far as we are aware
Anguila, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Georgia, Gibralta, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Monsterrat, New Zealand, Russia, St Helena, Serbia and Montenegro, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Some of these countries have limited state fund facilities available and travel insurance would still be required to ensure that you have all the benefits listed above available to you.