The E111 Form – Do You Still Need It?
Before 2004, Europeans traveling to the different countries in the continent had to carry with them the E111 Form. This A4-sized piece of document proved to be a very indispensable companion to one’s passport as it provided the assurance to travellers that they will receive state-sponsored or funded medical treatments and procedures for sickness or injuries they might sustain while traveling. Unfortunately, there were a lot of issues and concerns surrounding the use of the E111 Form such that, in 2004 it was replaced by the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC. It took almost 2 years to complete the migration from the E111 Form to the EHI Card. Nevertheless, by 2006, everyone in the 28 EU countries and 4 EFTA, or European Free Trade Association, nations were already using the EHIC.
If you still have your E111 Form and you are planning to travel abroad any time soon, then you may need to replace your E111 Form with the more convenient, more advanced, yet equally efficient and protective EHIC.
What’s the E111?
The E111 Form is a document that you had to bring with you every time you go to the different countries of the EU and the EFTA. This document was shown to the healthcare providers as well as institutions and facilities in your host country so you can avail of treatments or medical procedures to manage the sickness, injuries, or illnesses that may develop while you are in that particular country. The treatments are provided by the nation’s state-sponsored infrastructure and not by its private sector. Similarly, it only covers treatments or procedures that are deemed necessary or urgent to help prevent further illness or injury. As such, if the intent of visiting the country is to purposely seek treatment, the E111 Form cannot provide guarantees.
One of the major issues people had with the E111 was that it was easily torn or mutilated since it is essentially printed on paper. Storing it in one’s wallet proved to be a hassle as folding the E111 several times meant that the creases will make it a lot easier to be torn apart. Storing it in dedicated document caches, on the other hand, is impractical as you would have to carry this bulky document holder everywhere and anywhere you go. Additionally, there have been instances when the E111 got wet that it blotted or obscured the print. When the form was presented to healthcare authorities, they were having a very difficult time deciphering or recognizing the contents of the E111. In some cases, out of exasperation, the form was simply not used anymore because of illegibility.
Additionally, the E111 provided coverage for entire families – both the insured and his or her dependents including spouse or partner. There are cases when families go on a holiday they don’t stick together as a group. Some will be going to the beach while others might want to go shopping instead. Unfortunately, not everyone carries a copy of the E111 as it is often left with the insured. If something goes wrong with any member and the E111 holder is not present, then the injured or the sick may not be able to avail of services that are covered by the E111. As such, they often end up paying a lot more for these services.
These issues were effectively solved with the introduction of the European Health Insurance Card in 2004.
The EHIC – Better Solution to the E111
The E111 has already been phased out. In its stead is the European Health Insurance Card which technically eliminated all the issues that were inherent in the E111. It is made of durable plastic so it won’t be easily destroyed or damaged. There is also no danger of it getting torn or mutilated. Best of all, every single person in a household or family can have their respective EHI Cards as long as they are applied for either individually or as dependents. This can come in handy when you travel overseas and each family member wants to go a different location and enjoy a different activity. This guarantees access to state-owned healthcare facilities should something goes wrong.
The EHIC retained the same benefits of the E111. This means that if you get sick or sustain an injury while you are in the country for a social visit, a business meeting, or even for pleasure, you can receive public health treatments at a reduced cost if not absolutely free of charge.
Applying for the E111
The EHIC has already replaced E111 and as such, if you are going to apply or renew your E111, you will be essentially applying for the European Health Insurance Card. This card can be obtained from recognized institutions in your home country. Unfortunately, the processing can sometimes be wrought with issues because of bureaucratic red tape.
MyEHIC is one of the best solutions to address this particular concern. They can help you in applying for your EHIC. They have online facilities which you can use to apply for it yourself. They also have support services which can take the hassle of application so you get to focus more on the more important things in your life. MyEHIC makes sure that your E111 or EHIC application is complete and valid so that it can get easily approved. Additionally, they will be the ones to keep on monitoring or checking the status of your application so you’ll know when you will receive your card. If you have questions about your E111/EHIC you can get in touch with them any time of the day and any day of the week.
They also provide notification for you especially if it is already time for renewing your european health insurance card or your E111/EHIC is already near its expiration date. The EHIC is good for 5 years and must be renewed thereafter. MyEHIC can help you with this process, too.
The E111 was an indispensable travel companion. However, it was marred with some issues. With the EHIC, you now have the freedom to travel safely and with peace of mind to the rest of Europe.