Those who still have valid EHICs can use them for emergency treatment whenever they travel to the EU. Those whose cards have expired will be required to apply for a replacement. We examine which areas are and are not covered by both cards.
Coverage includes any type of emergency treatment at state healthcare providers and hospitals. While this may be free in some countries (depending on the laws), there may be a small fee in others (the same as that paid by the locals). Some treatments, such as physiotherapy and dental treatment, that are covered by the NHS may not be covered in these countries. If any of these treatments are required, they must be paid for by the individual at a private facility.
- Patients who require kidney dialysis or oxygen therapy on a weekly or more basis will only be able to do so at state healthcare clinics. They will, however, need to make arrangements in advance before visiting the country.
- Visiting a state healthcare doctor or facility, or seeking emergency medical attention at an A&E department
- Women who require routine antenatal care can schedule regular checkups while on vacation.
- Pre-existing medical conditions are covered as long as treatment is received only at state-run healthcare facilities.
- Since the UK government has entered into a reciprocal emergency care agreement with the governments of Australia and New Zealand, GHIC holders can use their cards.
Both GHIC and EHIC are valid for emergency healthcare at state facilities, but the following services are not covered:
- Require medical treatment in the UK or travel by air ambulance.
- Treatment received at a private hospital or clinic is not covered.
- There is no planned treatment in the country, including a planned visit to deliver a baby.
- Those on cruise ships will not be able to use the cards for treatment while in port because the ships travel from one country to another and the individual cannot be classified as a temporary resident.
- Must pay for medication in most countries, though at a reduced cost.
- GHIC/EHIC does not cover additional hospital expenses such as laundry, meals, and so on. Having travel insurance will aid in obtaining a refund.
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How does one become eligible for a GHIC?
Previously, the EHIC covered all EU and member-state nationals. The GHIC is only available to UK citizens. That includes people who legally live in the UK, pay their UK taxes, and qualify for the GHIC, which allows them to receive NHS treatment as well as emergency treatment in any EU country they intend to visit. However, EU nationals who meet the criteria of living and working in the UK can also qualify for the GHIC. Those who do not qualify for an EHIC can obtain one in their home country.
In the event that an individual’s residency status changes, their eligibility for the GHC/EHIC may also change.
- Patients who use an expired GHIC/EHIC to obtain treatment must pay for their treatment out of pocket. They will be ineligible if their card is expired.
- Students and individuals moving to any EU country to study or work may be ineligible for the GHIC. This would be determined by their residency status.