If you held a valid EHIC provided before 1 January 2021, you can still use as normal whilst travelling in the European Union provided that it has not expired.
If you meet the following criteria, you will be eligible to apply for a new EHIC card:
- UK student studying in the EU
- Some British State Pensioners who live in the EU and their families
- EU nationals in the UK.
For most people, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) replaces the existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for new applications. Each individual teacher and student that are travelling will need a E/GHIC card. You can apply for healthcare cover abroad, and find out more about eligibility and coverage, on the NHS website.
If you travel to Europe without a E/GHIC card, or lose it, you can get a Provisional Replacement Certificate by contacting NHS Overseas Healthcare Service. Depending on the country you visit you may be expected to pay all or part of your bill upfront and then claim a refund afterwards.
Some countries ask patients to pay a ‘co-payment’ contribution towards the costs, which is not refundable. Keep all receipts and any paperwork. You or your insurance company may need them if you're applying for a refund
You can find the guide to National Social Security systems in EU countries on the European Commission website.
If you’re travelling to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you should get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you travel and ensure it covers any pre-existing conditions that were previously covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Neither the EHIC nor the GHIC cards includes repatriation, nor replaces travel insurance. It doesn’t cover lost or stolen property. It is the schools’ responsibility to ensure appropriate travel insurance. Please note that some insurers may not provide coverage if you do not have a valid EHIC or GHIC, therefore please do be aware of this upon purchase.
If any of the students or teachers travelling have long-term illness or existing injuries, you may need to check insurance options to ensure they are covered.
Here is an example of what to do step by step if you need to use the EHIC or GHIC card in an EU country.