If you’re planning a trip to Europe anytime soon or in the future, then it’s important to make sure you have all necessary documents to hand before the time comes. One of the most important factors you need to be able to tick off the list is your medical cover.
Now many people who have become accustomed to using the e111 form over the years will probably want to know whether it’s still valid to use. The short answer is no, you cannot use it anymore.
European Health Insurance Card
Way back in 2006, the standard e111 form was replaced by the European Health Insurance Card. At the same time, the e128 form for overseas workers and students and the e110 form for truckers were both also taken over by the new EHIC.
What can the EHIC do?
You’ll be glad to know that the EHIC continues to provide free or reduced medical care for travellers whenever and wherever they are journeying through the European Economic Area. This includes most of the EU states plus Switzerland and a number of other areas on the continent.
A single card covers either a named individual or a family, with children over 16 requiring their own form. When shown, the EHIC will grant you the same state-provided level of care that an insured native person in the country would receive.
It’s best to check whether the card is closely approaching its expiration date before boarding your flight, as it will become invalid once it crosses that line. Overall, it’s valid for up to three to five years.
So do I still need travel insurance?
Yes, it is definitely worth getting travel insurance as you otherwise would. While invaluable to have, the EHIC can’t make up for a lack of comprehensive insurance alongside medical cover. Although it will come in handy if you break a limb and with other minor accidents, you cannot use it to go abroad specifically to seek treatment, as you could with the old e111 card.
You also have to be prepared to cover some costs, as your EHIC may not cover all of the things that the NHS would have covered back in the UK. That is why travel insurance is so vital.
What if I didn’t get one in time?
It’s OK, you’re covered from the moment you apply for one. So technically you are able to travel without the card itself, although if you choose this route then you will have to contact an overseas healthcare agent if you ever need treatment. At this point they will send a Provisional Replacement Certificate to the place where you are receiving care.
When can I change my old e111 form for the new EHIC?
Right now – go online and apply to get your new one sorted out as soon as possible. You can receive one via the NHS or through our paid services, we provide additional benefits throughout the application process.
Over 50% of people in the UK don’t have one, whereas around 5.2 million saw theirs expire at the end of 2015. Don’t become one of those people left wanting when they’re injured on holiday – sort yours out today.