Travelling can be really fun, but preparing for a travel can be a bit tiresome. With all the packing and buying tickets, many people don’t even think about their health or what do do if they find themselves sick or injured in a foreign country. Well, the solution is simple – just get a European Health Insurance Card. You need this for more than one reason, and that is exactly what we’re going to explain here.
Firstly, let’s explain what a European health Insurance Card (or EHIC for short) really is. It is a card that is available to all the residents of the United Kingdom who wish to travel to Europe. But, keep in mind that this card is only valid for the countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, meaning that you can’t use it in the European countries of Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, etc. It should be noted that every single person travelling needs to get their own EHIC; keep that in mind!
So, why should you get an EHIC? Well, basically, this is a card that is going to help you out when you are sick or injured while abroad. It will allow you to get the very same medical treatment as a regular national of that county; this does not mean that you get free healthcare with this card, it just means that even though you are a foreign citizen, this card allows you to get the very same treatment as the citizens of the country you’re in are getting. Because the healthcare systems are different from one country to another, you really ought to read up on the system of the country you’re travelling to.
Many people think that a European Health Insurance Card is the same as travel insurance, but it is not, and this is extremely important to note! Some travel insurance exclude some of the injuries or illnesses that are definitely covered with an EHIC, and therefore, a European Health Insurance Card is something you must have. Also, travel insurance is something you have to pay, while the European Health Insurance Card is completely free!
In order to get it, you just need to apply for it at the official NHS website, fill out all the details, and then you just have to wait for it to come to you by mail. Also, keep in mind that these cards need to be renewed every 5 years, and because the renewal of it is also free, why not do it? Don’t wait for the card to expire; do it before that happens, and definitely should you do it before you start your journey.
This should be done up to 6 months to the day of the expiry, meaning that you have plenty of time.
Basically, a European Health Insurance Card is something you should have while travelling the Europe. It can help you out, make you equal to the residents of the country you’re in, and help keep the medical costs down. And because it’s completely free, not getting one would just be foolish.