The history of the EHIC


Once upon a time, there was a big A4 sheet of paper called an E111. If you were going abroad on holiday, you had to fill it in, take it to the Post Office, and then make sure that wherever you went on your holiday, your big sheet of E111 came with you, too. This big sheet of paper contained all the information you needed to get emergency health care for free, or at a reduced price.

It became a well travelled piece of paper, because it went to the beach if you wanted a seaside holiday, the ski slopes if you liked extreme sports, and some of the most wonderful landmarks which Europe had to offer. Essentially, if there was any chance you might need medical treatment somewhere due to illness or an accident, your piece of paper came with you. It became dog eared, damaged, and hard to read, but still the law said that if you wanted medical treatment, your E111 must come along for the ride.

Only one form was allowed per family, which made things quite difficult for families whose children went away without them, for example on school holidays – who got to keep the E111?

Thankfully, in 2004 someone decided that carting a big piece of paper around was not the most sensible of ideas, and the EHIC card was born. By 2006, the paper was gone, and the European Health Insurance Card was available to everyone. Even children were allowed their own card, making school trips and holidays with friends much easier for everyone. With the age of the internet, it was decided that online application might be a good idea. Collect up your information and get ready to apply. You could even get the helpful people like the team at UK EHIC Applications to give you a hand, and make sure that your information was submitted correctly.

Even if you already have an EHIC, keep an eye on it – they don’t last forever. An estimated 5.2 million of them expired last year. Again, if you need a hand with its replacement, UK EHIC Applications can help you. If you need any help applying for your EHIC,  just let us know and we’ll make sure that applying for your EHIC is almost as enjoyable as being on holiday.

Photo: Day 187 - Going on a journey by Jessica Keating Photography licensed under Creative commons 2