European Health Insurance Card

If you're a citizen of the UK, the card entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment when you're in an EU country

If you have an accident or become ill while you're on holiday, you can get reduced-cost or free state-provided medical care in Europe thanks to the EHIC

What is an EHIC?

An EHIC is a European Health Insurance Card. If you're a citizen of the UK, the card entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment when you're in an EU country.

You follow the same rules as a citizen of that country – so if their medical care is completely free, so is yours.

An estimated 5.2 million EHICs are set to expire in 2020 – if you already have one, check the expiry date.

How it works

To get one, just fill out an application on the EHIC website or by calling the NHS on 0300 330 1350. Once you've got a card, it's valid for the next 5 years.

Your card is valid for five years and each card covers just one person. If you have a child under 16, include them on your application and you’ll both receive your own EHIC.

You can also get treatment for a chronic or pre-existing medical condition during your trip. The EHIC card must be carried with you at all times if you need treatment – so pop it in your bag or wallet when you're out and about.

Latest news about the EHIC - Brexit is Done!
The UK left the EU on Friday 31st January 2020.
The UK now enter a period of "Transition" until 31st December 2020 where ALL EU Rules and regulations will still apply to the UK.

Healthcare during the transition period

There will be no changes to healthcare access for UK nationals visiting or living in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland before 31 December 2020.
You can continue to use your EHIC during this time, as you did before.
If you already have an EHIC issued by the UK, it will continue to be VALID until at least the 31st December 2020.
If you are not in possession of a current valid EHIC now is the time to apply and take advantage of free or subsidised medical treatment for accident or illness when you travel in the EU.

You can use it across the EU

Your EHIC card is valid in the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (Southern), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

It's not travel insurance

The EHIC is valuable protection, but it isn't a replacement for travel insurance.

By having both, you reduce the risk of large medical bills, delays in treatment and a huge amount of stress in the event of a medical emergency.

You pay the same as a citizen of the country you are currently in. That means if citizens of that country are expected to pay for medical treatment, you will too.

How to Apply for the EHIC:

By Telephone - You can telephone the NHSBSA automated EHIC Application Line on 0300 330 1350. Your application should be processed within 10 days. There will be no charge for making your application in this way.

Online - You can use the NHSBSA website which can be found at to apply for your EHIC. There will be no charge for making your application in this way and you should receive your card(s) within 7 - 10 working days. Alternatively you can use our check and send service. Customers utilising our application service can normally expect to receive their card(s) within 10 - 14 working days. Prior to forwarding your application to the NHSBSA on the official website our staff will examine your application for errors made during the application process, such as undeliverable addresses and incorrect eligibility ages. A processing fee of £29.98 will be charged to cover administrative and operational expenses.

All applications processed by us are fast tracked to ensure you receive your card(s) as quickly as possible.