European Health Insurance Card Myths Debunked


When it comes to the EHIC, there are a number of myths and false truths that have been created around the benefits and reach of the European health Insurance Card. While it is highly important that you have an EHIC with you when you go on holiday, it is important to know exactly what it can and cannot cover you for. Before your holiday to Europe you should make sure that you get an EHIC from in order to ensure that you are covered for a medical emergency during your trip. Here, we’re taking a look at some of the most common myths associated with the EHIC!

An EHIC Can Cover You Anywhere In The World

This may seem like something simple, but it is an incredibly common misnomer. The clue is in the name and quite simply an EHIC will only cover you in Europe. However, within Europe, the EHIC will only cover you in countries that are part of the EEA, so it is important that you know where you are and are not covered. Two countries that are not part of the EEA include Croatia and Switzerland. While the EHIC may not cover you in all parts of the world, the UK does have some form of healthcare arrangements that may provide you with reduced cost or free medical healthcare in an emergency, but this is not part of the EHIC.

If I Have My EHIC I Don’t Need Travel Insurance

A European Health Insurance Card should always be used in conjunction with travel insurance, rather than as a substitute for it. An EHIC will only cover you for public healthcare in a medical emergency. Travel insurance on the other hand, can cover you for private healthcare too, as well as a number of other things like lost luggage or flight cancellations. You may find yourself in a medical emergency where the ambulance has to take you to the nearest hospital. This may not be a public hospital meaning you will have to pay a lot of money in medical bills.

My EHIC Means I Get Access To Free Healthcare In All Of Europe

This is not true. Not all healthcare provided by the state that you can have access to with your EHIC will be free like it is in the UK. Many countries in the EEA and across Europe will have contribution-based services in place, meaning visitors will also need to contribute if they need healthcare while they are on holiday. Your EHIC entitles you to the same standards of public healthcare that is offered to the nationals of the country that you are visiting.

I Can Use My EHIC For Pre-Arranged Treatments

One of the main things that the EHIC aims to not do is encourage medical tourism. If you have a pre-booked appointment, for example you want to have plastic surgery carried out in another country in order to take advantage of reduced costs, your EHIC will not cover you for this. This is also true if you are pregnant and have arranged to give birth in another country. However, routine maternity checks and pre-existing medical condition treatments can be arranged as long as the visitor is not heading to that country solely for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.

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