The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness within the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
The card entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment within the country they are visiting. This may not cover all of the services you would expect within the UK and you may have to make a contribution towards the care you receive.
EHIC can also be used to receive treatment for pre-existing illnesses and chronic diseases, but conditions do apply. Maternity care is covered by the EHIC whilst you are away.
EHIC may not cover all medical costs incurred, so you are strongly advised to also arrange travel insurance to ensure that you are covered for all possible eventualities. You will not be covered by EHIC if the main purpose of your travel is to receive medical treatment.
EHIC is valid within the European Economic Area, which includes the European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland also has an agreement in place with the European Union to accept the EHIC.
The following countries are covered by the EHIC:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (not including Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.