What Is The European Health Insurance Card?
All Europeans belonging to countries located in the European Economic Area as well as the scenic country of Switzerland need the European Health Insurance Card whenever they travel to any of these countries. The EHIC, as the European Health Insurance Card is fondly called, assures you of only the highest possible quality of care and medical treatment provided by the host country’s public health infrastructure either at no cost or at a very minimal cost. In a way, you get to enjoy the same health benefits of any other citizen in that country you are visiting.
In the past, when Europeans had to travel in any member state of the European Free Trade Association or the European Union, they had to carry with them the E111 Form which was quite frustrating because it can get torn or be grossly unreadable. When the EHIC was introduced in 2004, it heralded the dawn of authentic and convenient universal healthcare provision in many parts of Europe. There are no more issues of mutilated and illegible forms. Best of all, every single member of any given family can have their very own EHIC unlike in the E111 where the form covers for the entire household.
The main purpose of the EHIC is to allow travelers and holiday vacationers to continue on the purpose of their visit by making sure that they have access to quality public health care if the need arises. This simply means they can get treatment in the host country so they can fully recover in the shortest period of time and continue on their travels. They no longer need to cut short their trip and go back home to seek medical treatment.
All citizens of the 28 EU nations as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein can easily apply for an EHIC. In some countries, the European Health Insurance Card is automatically issued together with their national health insurance card. In most countries, however, you have to apply for it. As long as you are already 16 years old you can already apply for your own EHIC. If you are still studying and still below the age of 19, then you have to ask your parents or your guardians to apply an EHIC for you. Everyone in the family is obliged to have their own EHIC.
When you apply for your EHIC, you can apply for it yourself or avail of MyEHIC’s superb EHIC application and renewal services. You will furnish your complete name, your residential address, and your national insurance number. If this is your first time to apply and you have a family, it is often advisable to include them in your application especially if you have children. You will specify their names, their dates of birth, and how they are related to you. This will guarantee them their own EHIC cards which they can also use if they go overseas on their own or with their friends.
The European Health Insurance Card covers almost all the basic healthcare needs of the citizens that are entitled to in a particular country. This includes medical and dental treatments, prescription medications, and routine treatments for pre-existing medical conditions as well as maternity care. What is not covered are treatments obtained from private practitioners and providers especially if they are not funded by the state insurance system. Also, if you travel to a country with the sole purpose of giving birth or seeking medical treatment, then EHIC won’t cover these, too.
The EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. There are some instances when you require medical treatment that will entail significant cost and which may only be provided by a private healthcare practitioner. Also, repatriation costs, mountain rescue, and helicopter airlifts may have to be personally paid for as these are often not covered by EHIC. In these instances, your travel insurance will come in very handy. This will also be important if you travel to countries that don’t accept EHIC such as non-EU and non-EFTA nations. A travel insurance is thus highly recommended.
MyEHIC can help you secure an EHIC for you as well as your family so you can make the most out of your holiday travels overseas.