Brexit: Do I still need an EHIC?

Added 23/12/2019

With the UK set to leave the EU at the end of January, is it still worth taking an EHIC with you when you travel?

The short answer is yes; it is still worth having an EHIC, but you do need travel insurance as well.

We are due to leave the EU on 31 January and a transition period will then follow until the end of the year. During the transition period the EHIC will remain valid so it is still worth carrying.

At the end of this transition period an EHIC is unlikely to be valid going forward.

Travel insurance is a must: An EHIC is not enough

Although it is good news for UK travellers to the EU that the EHIC will still be valid for the rest of the year, it is important to remember that the EHIC is not travel insurance and cannot replace travel insurance.

The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card, proves your right as a resident of the EU, to receive the same level of health care as a local resident in any EU/EEA country.  

An EHIC does not mean that medical treatment will be free of charge and it does not cover transport back to the UK if you are unable to return on your pre-booked flight or other transport.

If I have travel insurance in place, why do I need an EHIC?

Whilst we are still in the EU, the EHIC can save you money because if you use it when obtaining emergency medical treatment and it results in a reduction of the medical costs, the insurers will waive the excess payment on your claim, saving you money.