Your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) provides you or your family with certain types of medical cover while you’re overseas. It doesn’t provide comprehensive medical or repatriation cover, and you are covered for varying types of care in the different European member states. For this reason, it’s wise to also take travel insurance out for you and your family when you travel in Europe. It’s also a good idea to have a valid EHIC card when you travel, as certain travel insurers insist you have one in order to validate any claims. This applies to all members of your family.
How can I get an EHIC card under 16?
Every member of the family requires their own EHIC card. But you can’t apply for one yourself until you turn 16. You obtain an EHIC card under 16 through being listed as a dependant on the EHIC application of an adult.
How can I arrange for a child’s EHIC card?
You can apply on behalf of children under 16 by including them as dependants when you fill out the application. Each child under 16 that you list will receive their own separate EHIC. They don’t need to be travelling with you for the card to be valid.
No-one under 16 can apply for their own card, so you’ll have to do it even if they are close to this age.
Updating your family details for an EHIC
If you need to renew the EHIC cards for some of your family, you need to enter the details of all family members who are listed on previous applications. Those family members who don’t need their details updated, or their cards renewed, won’t be affected, but you do need to fill out their details anyway.
Keep your card with you
Remember that anyone ill or injured will need to have their EHIC at the point of getting medical treatment, so make sure that all family members carry their EHIC cards with them as they travel around. If you don’t have the card at the point of receiving care, you may be required to pay for any care you receive.
Arrange travel cover
EHIC cards don’t replace travel cover for you or any children you travel with, so make sure everyone in your party has travel insurance, whether they are older or younger than 16 years old. You may need to have a valid EHIC card in order to make an insurance claim, so check if your policy insists on this before you travel.
An EHIC card for under 16 year olds can be obtained when you apply online, they will take between seven and 10 days to arrive by post to a UK address.
Many schools will insist that any pupils have valid EHIC cards if they are travelling to Europe on a school trip. Minors who do not have a valid EHIC card may not be able to go on any school trips abroad, so it’s a good idea to apply in plenty of time if any school trips are planned.