The last few months has seen a great deal of anxiety expressed over the various negative effects of the Brexit vote One benefit that UK residents feared they would lose was the European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC for short.
After a great deal of confusion in the weeks following the landmark vote, it has since been announced that the EHIC health scheme would continue on as it had since 2006, when it replaced the old E111 standard.
If you are looking to explore Europe on your own for the first time, you might be wondering why you should sign up for the EHIC.
Below, we will explain the benefits that this program provides people that are planning a trip to Europe.
Why get the EHIC?
When you leave the confines of the United Kingdom, the NHS coverage that you pay for through your taxes no longer applies.
Despite the fact that the UK is part of the European Union (until it wraps up its associations with them, at least), you will not be permitted to use state-run health facilities in the same way that citizens of its member states do.
Instead, you will have to bear the full cost of any medical treatments that you receive, which can easily reach into the thousands of quid for even minor incidents such as a broken limb, or a bout of severe bacterial pneumonia that results in a multi-day hospital stay.
By getting the EHIC, you’ll partially or fully covered in the event of illness or injury, thereby sparing you from an unexpected financial disaster.
What countries fall under the umbrella of the EHIC?
EHIC cardholders are able to access state health services in the 25 nations that comprise the EEA (European Economic Area), as well as Switzerland.
What is the best way to apply for the EHIC?
It is possible to directly apply for the EHIC through the NHS. However, we recommend against this, as even the slightest mistake can result in your application being rejected, putting you back to square one. Combine this with lengthy processing times, and you have a recipe for disaster for those that have a departure date looming in the near future.
Going with a trusted third-party processor is a better option, as these firms will let you know if you are missing critical information before submitting your application. This avoids needless delays in acquiring your EHIC if you have a trip coming up soon.