Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) / European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020, with a transition period lasting until 31 December 2020.  From 1st January 2021 there will be some changes for British Nationals travelling to countries within the EU.

If you already hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will continue to be valid for use in EU countries until the expiry date on the card. It will not be valid if you are travelling to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Once your EHIC has expired you will be able to apply for the new GHIC (UK Global Health Insurance Card) which will work in the same way.

More information about EHIC/GHIC >>

Please note: A GHIC or EHIC proves your entitement to state provided health care on the same terms as a local resisdent, it does not mean that it will be free and it does not cover the cost of repatriation (getting you home).

No matter where you are travelling, it is important to buy appropriate travel insurance for your trip, including cover for any pre-existing medical conditions you have. can cover all types of medical conditions up to a high level of severity.

5 things you need to know about a GHIC

  • Beware of unofficial sites which may charge you for applying, GHICs are free of charge.
  • You should also note that the EHIC and the GHIC no longer cover healthcare in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
  • A GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, because although it proves your right to state provided health care in the country you are visiting, it does not mean that treatment is free of charge, it simply means that you can access it on the same basis as a local.  
  • A GHIC will also not cover the cost of repatriation, getting you home, if illness or injury means you are unable to travel on your pre-booked flight.  You need travel insurance to cover that cost.
  • A GHIC can save you money. If you use an EHIC or GHIC when obtaining medical treatment in the EU, and this results in a reduced cost for your travel insurer, they will often reduce the amount of any excess payment you are required to make.