A lost or stolen EHIC days before a trip is a very annoying situation. However, there are simple things to do to receive a provisional replacement card or to order a new one. The EHIC allows you to receive public healthcare when you are travelling in a country of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland as a local resident of the country would. We recommend you to carry your EHIC for yourself and every single member of your family and to make sure it is up to date before travelling. The EU Health Card lasts five years, and you can renew it up to 6 months before it expires.
What happens if your card is stolen or lost while you are abroad, or days before your planned holidays?
If you are still at home, it is easy to replace a lost or stolen European Health Card online here. Please bear in mind that a card replacement is normally issued and delivered to your UK address between 7 and 10 days after your request. If that means there is not enough time for you to receive your replacement card, we recommend you to take the number of the Department for Work and Pensions Overseas Healthcare Team (DWP OHT) with you: +44 (0)191 218 1999. Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
If your card is lost or being stolen while you are travelling in an EEA country or in Switzerland and you need medical treatments, you can call the DWP OHT (+44 (0)191 218 1999) to issue a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). Another person is allowed to do this request on your behalf if you are unable to. The PRC will provide the same cover as your European Health Insurance Card until you are back home. It can be sent by email or fax.
To receive your PRC, you will need the following information in hand:
- National Insurance number
- First name
- Last name
- UK address
- Date of birth
- NHS number (if possible)
- The e-mail address or fax number of the hospital where you receive your medical treatments
Keeping your EU Health Card up to date and in safety while you are travelling is extremely important and can help you avoid stressful situations should you or a member of your family be ill or involved in an accident. You can keep it with your passport to make sure you don’t forget it.