It is always worth checking how much time you have left before your European Health Card (EHIC) expires. This is especially true if you are planning to travel in Europe. If your card has less than six months left before expiry, you will need to renew it in order for it to be valid when you travel.
Five year lifespan
EHIC renewal is sometimes easily forgotten, as the EHIC is valid for up to five years. A word of warning, though – any remaining time left on your old card will unfortunately not be added to the new EHIC that you receive once you have completed the renewal process.
Renewal is easy
If you don’t have any details to update since you last applied for an EHIC, this will make things easier. In this case, all you have to do is apply online. This is very straightforward, simply apply via our online form and we will process the application on your behalf.
If you have already informed EHIC services of a new address, you will be asked to enter it as you begin the renewal process.
Update your details first
Maybe you do need to update some of your personal details before renewing. In that case, you will need the PIN number that can be found on your card. With this, once you are logged in via the EHIC site address above, you will be able to amend any personal details before applying.
A family affair
For card holders who are part of a family that have changed their personal details, the process is made easy. These applicants can enter details for all their family, enabling the different family members to remain linked as one group. Only the family members whose cards are close to expiry will be renewed. For those family members whose cards are not yet ready to be renewed, a warning message will appear notifying you of this. You are also able to add a partner living at the same address for no added cost.
Renewing from overseas
For those living abroad, and collecting a UK State Pension or receiving state benefits, there is a different process for renewal of an EHIC card. You must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team in writing via the following address:
Overseas Healthcare Team
Tyne & Wear
Newcastle upon Tyne
Why renew your European Health Card?
The benefit of an EHIC is that it provides holders of the card with access to government healthcare during their visits to other countries in the European Economic Area, as well as Switzerland. The big advantage is that treatment can be administered at the same cost as the card holder’s country of origin, or for free in a lot of cases. This applies to treatment which is “medically necessary”, with the EHIC covering the cost until the patient arrives home.