The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card
The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card, is free and it can get you free or discounted medical care in all of the 27 EU countries.
With over half the UK population not having one and six million people, with one, but expiring by June.
What's an EHIC?
The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles the holder to free or discounted medical treatment at state-run hospitals and GPs in any European Union country, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
If you're in Europe and you've got an EHIC you’ll be entitled to receive the same treatment that local citizens are entitled to, which is extremely useful in emergencies. It’s completely free and valid for five years; all UK residents are eligible, though residents of the Channel Islands and Isle of Man aren't.
Does it make treatment free?
No. You get treated the same way as a citizen of that country, so if they get free medical treatment you do too; if they pay, you pay the same rates. As this is a reciprocal agreement across Europe, it also means EU citizens can use the NHS in the same way.
It’s also worth noting that the EHIC doesn’t cover you if you're going abroad specifically to get treatment.