What to do if you lose your EHIC while abroad


If you’re about to enjoy a holiday in Europe then your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should be one of the main priorities on your travel checklist. Although it isn’t an alternative to insurance, a European Health Insurance Card entitles you to the same free, or reduced cost, healthcare as a resident. So what should you do if you can’t find your EHIC, or you lose it while you’re abroad?

If you lose your EHIC while still in the UK

Ordering a replacement EHIC when you’re still in the UK is a relatively simple process, and it can be done online. UK EHIC offers this service, or you can apply direct via the NHS. The details you will need to apply for a replacement EHIC are: your full name; your date of birth; your UK address and your national insurance or NHS number. Your EHIC number would also be useful. A replacement card will take several days to arrive, so you should check you know where it is well in advance of travel.

If you lose your EHIC while abroad

A Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) can be issued, and it will entitle you to all the same benefits as your original EHIC. It’s important to remember that a PRC is only valid for the duration of your stay, so you will still need to order a replacement EHIC when you return home.

It can be tempting to wait until you’re back in the UK to report the loss of your EHIC, especially if you’re close to the end your holiday. But if you’re taken ill, or suffer an injury, a missing EHIC will be an additional problem you can do without. Another reason to be proactive is the fact that PRCs cannot be requested at weekends, or in the evening.

Provisional Replacement Certificates are obtained from the Department of Health via the Overseas Health Team. They can be contacted on 00 44 191 218 1999 between 8am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. If you can’t make the call yourself, someone else can act on your behalf as long as they can provide all the personal information listed above.

Photo: France-000533 by archer10 (Dennis) (67M Views) licensed under Creative commons 2