Common EHIC myths debunked


The EHIC is a magical thing – wave it at a doctor and get free state medical treatment throughout Europe. No complicated forms, no big bills, just a small piece of plastic. It’s a bit of a miracle worker. However, in a recent survey by Go Compare, it turns out that a lot of people don’t quite understand what an EHIC card does and doesn’t do for you. Here are some common myths, debunked.

1) The EHIC covers you anywhere in the world

Embarrassingly, 5% of respondents to the Go Compare survey thought that the EHIC would cover you no matter where you were in the world – America, Australia, South Africa and Europe. The clue is in the name – it’s the European Health Insurance Card, and America, Australia and South Africa definitely aren’t part of Europe.

2) Your EHIC will fly you home

No, sorry. EHIC is for treatment only. That’s why we recommend purchasing travel insurance. If you’re injured and need to be sent home to the UK, the only people who can fly you home without the giant bill are travel insurers. A recent case saw a holiday maker charged £23,000 for a repatriation flight after an injury in the Canary Islands. You could buy a nice new car with that amount of money!

3) An EHIC card means I don’t need to bother getting travel insurance

Going on holiday without travel insurance is such a risky gamble that we really wouldn’t recommend it. While you may have all sorts of nice activities planned for your holiday, you can’t guarantee that you won’t need some sort of health care. An ambulance may not take you to a state hospital and instead take you to a private clinic, meaning your EHIC would not be accepted, and you’d have to pay the full cost of your treatment.

10% of people who apply for an EHIC card need it after becoming unwell on holiday. Don’t take the risk of travelling to Europe without one. Get your EHIC here today and give yourself the peace of mind you need to allow you to really enjoy your holiday in Europe.

(A confused traveller –

Photo: plane by steve p2008 licensed under Creative commons 2