A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) offers card holders entitlement to medical treatment for free or reduced-cost in participating European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) countries. It is a necessary supplement to travel health insurance and can come in handy when you need it the most. Are you eligible for an EHIC?
Nationality and Residence Requirements
UK nationals who are normally resident in the UK over the age of 16 are entitled to apply for an EHIC for themselves and their family members. There are some restrictions on your nationality if you are not British, but dependent spouses of UK citizens who have a National Insurance (NI) card and/or a National Health Service (NHS) card can usually apply and receive their own EHIC.
Coverage in EEA Countries
Unfortunately, not all UK residents are covered by EHIC when visiting an EEA country (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway or Denmark.) To find out more about coverage in any of these EEA countries, go to www.ehic.org.uk or visit the Department of Health web site.
Channel Islands and Isle of Man Residents
According to Flexicoverdirect, residents of the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Herm, and Alderney) and the Isle of Man are not eligible to apply for an EHIC for travel to an EU or EEA country.
Self-employed or Working Abroad
UK citizens who are employed by a UK company or who are self-employed within the UK can apply for an EHIC in order to work in an EEA country. This provision also includes dependent family members for up to 12 months. If you require further information on how to apply for an EHIC if you are self-employed in the UK or moving abroad to work in an EEA country, contact HM Revenue and Customs for more information.
Moving Abroad Permanently
UK citizens are not covered by EHIC if they move abroad permanently or if they work for a foreign (non-EU or non-EEA) employer.
In order to establish eligibility for an EHIC, you must be a UK resident and be ordinarily resident in the UK. EHIC is issued to those who are over the age of 16. Once issued, cards are valid for five years. However, Channel Island and Isle of Man residents are not eligible for EHIC coverage; nor are UK residents who move abroad permanently.
Who Is Eligible For The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?