Why Relying On Your EHIC Could Land You In Trouble Abroad

There are a few important things you should always make sure you have with you before you travel - a passport, foreign currency and, if you're travelling in the EU, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

But do we really understand what carrying the EHIC card gets us? The issue is that many people from the UK are only carrying the little blue card believing that they will be covered for health abroad, just like that of travel insurance.
The EHIC on the government website states: "An EHIC lets you get state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes for free."
The site also clarifies that there has been 'no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU' as a result of Brexit.

While this means you are entitled to health care while travelling within the EU should you need it, you are only entitled to healthcare on the same level as locals in the country. (apply for free now)
What the EHIC won't do however is cover the costs of expensive procedures such as repatriation, when you need to be taken back to your home country.
If you don't have travel insurance you will have to foot the cost of this bill yourself, and it won't be cheap.
When it comes to taking out travel insurance you need to ensure you are as transparent as possible with your insurance provider.
Failing to disclose a medical condition, any medication you take or any previous injuries could leave you with problems if you have to claim against them later.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you're planning on getting involved in any extreme sports while you're away.
Many travel insurance providers will have special sections to fill out for activities such as skydiving, white water rafting and other popular sports.

We would always recommend travelling with your EHIC as its free to apply and could come in handy. Although we would advise getting travel insurance as well, whether for the duration of your stay, through a current account or a yearly policy if you're going to be travelling 4+ times a year.

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