What is an EHIC card?
A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you receive state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland. The EHIC replaced the old E111 form.
A EHIC will cover you for necessary treatment in order for you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.
But what about travel insurance?
The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, but a compliment. A EHIC does not cover private medical healthcare or things such as repatriation to the UK or non-medical incidents (lost property).
So it is important to have both travel insurance and a EHIC - in fact some insurers insist on it and may waive your travel insurance excess.
A EHIC is free - do not pay for one!
Importantly a EHIC is free and you can apply for one here via the official online application form. There are lots of unscrupulous website which charge you if you apply through them.
image: Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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