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Do I need to replace my European Health Insurance Card?

Tourist using escalator in airport
Always make sure you're covered for medical costs when travelling abroad

What is an EHIC?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC, previously the E111) is an EU initiative that grants access to emergency and state healthcare in EU countries for free or at a reduced cost. Despite the UK’s move out of the EU, your EHIC is still valid in EU countries until the expiry date on your card.

What is a GHIC?

The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is replacing EHIC as a result of the UK moving out of the EU. GHIC replaced EHIC from 01/01/2021, but as mentioned above, it does not mean an in-date EHIC is not valid. GHIC gives you the same access to healthcare in EU countries as the EHIC.

Do I need to replace my EHIC with a GHIC?

No, there is no need to replace your in-date EHIC until it expires. You can then get a GHIC from that expiry date. They cover you for the same things and you can continue to use it in EU countries until it’s expiry date. In most cases, UK nationals applying for a new EHIC will receive a GHIC instead.

What does an EHIC and GHIC cover?

If you fall ill or are injured on a temporary visit to an EU country, a valid EHIC or GHIC will give you the same emergency state healthcare as its citizens. This means healthcare would be provided for free or at a much lower cost than if you didn’t have a valid EHIC or GHIC card.

Do I still need travel insurance?

Before you hit the beach and grab a pina colada, you may want to be covered for more than emergency healthcare and this is where travel insurance comes in. If you want to protect yourself against cancelling or cutting short your trip, personal belonging and much more, you should consider travel insurance. Please note, travel insurers can offer very different coverages so take your time getting the right cover for you.

Also, our friends over at have loads of ways to help you spend smarter and travel smarter to be sure to check them out.

It is worth noting that cover for either a EHIC or GHIC can differ by country. You can find out further information by listing the EU’s website.

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