When it comes to travelling abroad there are a number of things that you will need to take into consideration. Firstly, you’re going to want to ensure that you have all of your boarding passes, hotel information, check-in details, any information about transfers that you may need and all of the information that you might need to keep handy to ensure that your holiday goes as smoothly as possible. Nevertheless, if you’re a citizen of the EU and you’re travelling to a European country, then you’re going to want to make sure that you have a European Health Insurance Card with you at all times. However, some people tend to believe that if they have their EHIC card with them throughout their travels, they’re not going to need some form of travel insurance – which simply isn’t true. Here, we’re taking a look at why you need an EHIC card if you’re travelling to Europe and what you need in order to qualify.

Renewing Your EHIC

If you’re travelling abroad, then you’re going to want to make sure that you renew your EHIC card in order to ensure that it is still valid. A huge number of people will travel to Europe without having an in-date EHIC, and also without travel insurance, which can lead to a huge build-up in costs of medical fees, if you’re unlucky enough to experience a medical emergency while you are abroad. Make sure that you check the expiry date on your card long before you travel, and have it renewed so you can be protected for any medical emergency care you might need.

EHIC vs. Travel Insurance

A major conundrum that has appeared over the years is whether or not a traveller needs both a European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance.  The simple answer is yes. This is because travel insurance will cover you for a lot more than what an EHIC will, both in terms of healthcare, and also in terms of the things that you might need when you’re travelling. For example, travel insurance will cover you for lost luggage, flight delays and private medical care, whereas an EHIC will only cover you for public medical healthcare. IN some cases, you may be in a medical emergency where you will need to be transported to the nearest healthcare facility – and this isn’t always going to be a public hospital or clinic. While an EHIC is extremely helpful to have in order for you to receive either free or reduced cost healthcare, depending on the country and their local healthcare rules and requirements, it is always best to couple this with travel insurance.

Who Qualifies For An EHIC?

In order to qualify, you must be a part of the social security system of an EU member state – which is not every country in Europe. Nevertheless, countries like Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are also eligible to apply for an EHIC. The EHIC will only cover the individual traveller, and not any additional members like children – so it is important that your entire travelling party have their own, valid European Health Insurance Cards.

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