European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC, is a free card that grants any citizen of an EU state to necessary healthcare during a temporary visit to another EU country. The EHIC, however, only covers necessary medical needs such as emergency care, pregancy and childbirth, or specific treatments related to their illness. The EHIC does also not act as travel insurance, and it does not cover the expenses that were needed in order to get the medical attention. Additionally, people who reside in countries not part of the EU may apply for a card, but they may not use their card in the countries of Denmark, Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. This means that a US native may get a card and receive treatment in any of the EU states. The UK Global Health Insurance Card, or GHIC, is the newest version of the insurance card and can be applied for once one’s EHIC has expired; the GHIC can last up to five years. If a student needs an EHIC or UK GHIC, they will need to provide a letter from their university. If someone does not have their EHIC or UK GHIC on them and they require medical attention, they can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate, or PRC, which can cover anyone who has already applied for an EHIC or UK GHIC but has not yet received it.


“European Health Insurance Card.” European Health Insurance Card – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission, Accessed 31 Mar. 2024. 

“Get Healthcare Cover Abroad with a UK GHIC or UK EHIC.” NHS Choices, NHS, Accessed 31 Mar. 2024. 

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