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Seeking medical care abroad

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European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Seeking medical care abroad often isn’t as simple as walking into a local A&E and waiting to be treated. Overseas, many hospitals work as private businesses and as such, charge patients for treatment.

If you are planning on travelling outside the UK on your upcoming trip, we strongly recommend taking a valid in-date EHIC card with you, along with your travel insurance documents.

If your holiday plans are taking you somewhere within the European Economic Area (EEA), your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will allow you to get free or subsidised healthcare. It generally covers any costs generated from emergency medical attention and medicines which are needed to maintain your health until you plan to return. This free or subsidised healthcare also allows for the treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care.

An EHIC card is entirely free of charge. You can apply for one on the ehic.org.uk website.

Reciprocal Health Agreements

If you’re planning on visiting a country outside of the EEA, then it could be that they have a Reciprocal Health Agreement with the UK. This means that you are entitled to the same medical care as a national of that country. To gain treatment in these countries, you will often need to show your passport or NHS medical card.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance helps cover the costs incurred from medical treatment in countries where there is no free healthcare for UK nationals. If the medical cost have been partially subsidised by the use of your EHIC card, we will waive the medical excess should you have to make a claim for any further costs.