Where will you pay for your care?


Your EHIC is a great way to ensure that if you need emergency healthcare when you’re out of the UK, you don’t need to worry about paying huge bills for your treatment. A common misconception of the EHIC is that it entitles you to entirely free healthcare, but that’s not always the case. Legally, the EHIC entitles you to treatment at the same rates which a local person would pay. For example, if you’re in Paris and need medical treatment, your EHIC entitles you to treatment at the same rates which a French person would pay.

Here are some of the biggest surprises we’ve come across when using the EHIC card across Europe.


You’ll be able to get treatment from a doctor in a state clinic or hospital, but it will cost you €2 per visit.


Any treatment will be subject to a €10 fee. Treatment costs must be paid at the time, and claimed back later. Make sure you show your EHIC as soon as you can to let it be known that you’ll be seeking a refund via the EHIC system.


State hospitals charge a flat daily rate if you’re admitted, which will vary by hospital, or 20% of the total cost of your treatment. There’s a charge of €18 for any sort of treatment.


As long as the doctor you see is part of the public insurance scheme, you’ll receive state healthcare and not private. Any sort of treatment attracts a charge of around €15. If you’re under 20, there’s no charge at all.


You’ll only get treatment at state healthcare facilities, called the OEP. There’s a flat fee of around €2, but emergency out of hours treatment can be double that.


You can have treatment from any public health doctor, but it will cost €67. Any medicine you’re prescribed is free of charge.

Remember that your EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, and we strongly recommend that once you’ve got your EHIC, you purchase travel insurance, which should cover you for any medical expenses your EHIC doesn’t cover.

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