The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does not only cover countries of the European Union (EU). Therefore, it is wise to check if the EHIC is valid where you are going. In this case, you will receive medical treatment for free or at a reduced cost as if you were a resident of the country.
Where can I use my EHIC?
The EHIC covers you in the countries of the Economic European Union (EEA) as well as Switzerland. The EEA includes the countries of the EU – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK – as well as Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.
When you are travelling, you can use your EHIC in any state-funded hospital or clinic in the country. We recommend you to be extra careful when checking that it is indeed a state-funded hospital. Indeed, your EHIC will not cover the cost to receive medical treatment in a private clinic. In some countries like Spain, it can be difficult to know the kind of hospital you are in. Therefore please check with a member of staff before receiving the medical treatment or you could face large bills.
Some countries have not signed up to the reciprocal agreement in place with the UK. These countries are:
- The Channel Islands;
- The Vatican
- San Marino
- The Principality of Monaco
Other countries where the EHIC is valid
There are also other countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) that have reciprocal health agreements with the UK. In these countries, presenting a valid EHIC will help you get access to medical treatments for free or at a reduced cost. Some of these countries will also require proof of address. The reciprocal deals do not cover the cost of routine medical treatment for a pre-existing condition. The following countries have a reciprocal health agreement with the UK:
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- St Helena
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Please note that the reciprocal agreement was terminated in 2016 with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
The European Health card offers peace of mind to travellers. We recommend you to double it with a good travel insurance policy and you will enjoy stress-free holidays, knowing that you are covered if you or a member of your family is sick or has an accident.