Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC / E111)
This website provides third-party assistance and advice on the European Health Insurance Card. It is also known as the GHIC or Global Health Insurance Card issued by the NHS (formerly the E111 Card).
There have been and with Brexit, there will likely continue to be a number of changes to the health card. These changes may include it no longer providing any coverage whatsoever to British citizens once the UK leaves the European Union. This website aims to provide the latest information (at no charge) independently of changes. You are encouraged to bookmark this site to your Favourites and/or return frequently.
The purpose of this website is to provide up to date information on the Global Health Card and your eligibility to apply for and/or renew one. You will find useful information and answers to the most frequently asked questions in regards to the GHIC and its coverage. We also provide an unaccredited submission service where a third party fee applies.
You can secure information and free unaccredited information and advice from this website and its articles, by speaking with us via phone or live chat, by sending us an email or you can avoid our services and charges entirely by going through the National Health Service and other official channels. Links to the governments NHS website were you can secure the health card (formally E111) independently and at no cost are provided for ease and convenience and can be found at the bottom of every web page.
The above list of countries recognising the GHIC is accurate as of May 2019. As mentioned previously the list of countries where the European Health Insurance Card has validity constantly changes. Some countries begin recognising it whilst others leave the scheme. Hence it’s important you check and do not presume before travelling.
GHIC Coverage & Exemptions
Alarmingly to many consumers believe the GHIC provides the same or greater protection against illness or accident as travel insurance provided by their employer, bank or secured privately. This is not the case. In addition to it not providing coverage in certain countries it also does not provide protection in various common situations.
For example, it is not valid if you are on a cruise, even if you only travel in European waters. It does not cover you if you are skiing or doing any other high risks of injury sports. It will not cover the costs of your repatriation even for emergency surgery. Private travel insurance policies offer such protection.
Some “off the shelf” travel insurance policies may provide sufficient coverage however it depends on where you are travelling to, what activities you are going to undertake and potentially your medical history. It is strongly advised that you read the small print of any travel providers terms and conditions or website you are not familiar with to ensure you know what you are signing up for before you part with your hard earned money. Free consumer advice can be provided by the Consumer Advice service if you are in doubt as to which level of coverage would be best for you.
Global Health Insurance Card Exclusions
The following countries do not recognise the GHIC card (previously known as the E111). They were either countries who never accepted it or in recent years have opted-out of the scheme. It is therefore highly recommended that if travelling to any of these countries that you secure your own travel insurance. If you do not and you require urgent medical care, surgery or to pay for treatment then you will need to pay out of your own funds which if not paid in a timely manner may result in legal action as well as difficulty returning to the country from which you have unpaid medical bills.
Many are surprised to hear that coverage is not provided in the countries listed below. Many consider the pope’s residence as part of Italy’s Rome however the Vatican is an independent state. It is a separate country to Italy itself and is one that does not recognise the GHIC. Whilst you are encouraged to read the fine print of your travel insurance firms terms and conditions you should find most do not exempt any or many of the countries marked above and below with a red x.
Many consumers find that the more they read up on the GHIC the more questions they find themselves with… Feel free to review the additional pages below for answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive. We also post weekly on our Blog with the latest GHIC news and developments.
If you still find yourself with questions then you are welcome to contact us via phone, email or live chat. We will be happy to answer your questions or point you in the right direction where you can find answers. Our 0203 number is a standard rate line and free with most mobile and landline “inclusive minutes” bundles. It is a number that can receive international calls simply change 0203… with +44203.. to connect to us. Check the per minute rate from your international carrier before dialing. If you have access to a VOIP provider (e.g. Skype) you can reach us for the price of a UK call.
- 10 things you didn’t know about Bulgaria, the Land of Roses - July 20, 2020
- Eight things you did not know about Santorini - June 30, 2020
- What does the coronavirus outbreak mean for your GHIC? - April 11, 2020