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EHIC OR E111 card


People who are ordinarily resident in the UK are entitled to a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card ( EHIC or E111 card ). It is not valid for people who are going to live abroad.

What Are the Requirements?

You can apply for an EHIC for your spouse/partner and any children up to the age of 16 (or 19 if they are in full-time education) at the same time as applying for your own. If you are a foster parent or guardian (including boarding school teaching staff), you can apply on behalf of any children you are looking after.

You must be over 16 to apply as a main applicant.

Before you apply, you will need to have the following information to hand for everyone you are applying for:

  • Name and Date of Birth

  • NHS or National Insurance (NI) Number.

In Scotland the NHS number is known as the Community Health Index (CHI) number and in Northern Ireland it is known as the Health and Care number).

The EHIC is issued by the Prescription Pricing Authority (PPA) and is free of charge.

The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only, and you'll be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you're visiting. Remember, this might not cover all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care.

On that basis a British citizen, with an up to date European Health Insurance Card, visiting Cyprus as a tourist, can be treated in a Republic of Cyprus state (not private) hospital and the bill should be paid by the UK. This does not apply in the TRNC.

In Summary, the EHIC will cover:

  • Any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your stay because of either illness or an accident.

  • The card gives access to reduced-cost or free medical treatment from state healthcare providers.

  • It allows you to be treated on the same basis as a resident of the country you are visiting i.e. you may have to pay a patient contribution (also known as a co-payment). You may be able to seek reimbursement for this when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in the other country (and limited to the equivalent cost on the NHS).

  • It includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition that becomes necessary during your visit.

  • It includes routine maternity care, (provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth).

  • It includes the provision of oxygen, renal dialysis and routine medical care

It does not cover:

  • The EHIC is not a substitute or replacement for private travel insurance. You should always take out an appropriate private policy in addition to carrying your EHIC.

  • It will not cover the costs of private healthcare or services that are not part of the state healthcare system. 

  • It will not cover the costs of being brought back to the UK.

  • It will not allow you to go abroad to specifically receive treatment (including going abroad to give birth).