Are you travelling to Germany soon, or are you a UK citizen residing in Germany? If so, you should apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Your EHIC provides you with access to medical treatment and assistance when travelling within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Your EHIC makes the process of receiving medical assistance in another EU member state much simpler. UK citizens who have an EHIC card in Germany are entitled to the same level of health care as German citizens for the same cost, for as long as they are staying in the country.
The treatment must be deemed ‘necessary’ by the doctor who is treating you, but you will receive that treatment at the same cost as a German citizen would. For example, the medical treatment that is provided free of charge in Germany will be provided to UK citizens free of charge, so long as they are EHIC holders. However, if German citizens are normally required to pay a fee, for example for a prescription, UK citizens will also be required to pay that fee.
However, there are certain other restrictions on medical treatment, for example you cannot receive any private treatments or care in a private hospital with your EHIC, as this would not be covered.
How does the EHIC work in Germany?
In Germany, the EHIC is known as the ‘Europäische Krankenversicherungskarte’ and gives German citizens the same rights as described above. However, UK citizens who wish to receive medical care using their EHIC card must make an application prior to travelling to Germany. Making an application online is free and easy, so you should make sure to do this before you travel.
When attending a doctor’s appointment or seeing a dentist, you can only use your EHIC card in practices registered under the health system of the state. To identify one of these practices, you should look for a sign saying Kassenartzt or Alle Kassen. In order to make an appointment you will require your passport and your EHIC card.
When you require a prescription in Germany, you will be required to pay ten per cent of the entire cost. Furthermore, you will also pay ten per cent towards the cost of any hospital treatment you receive. In addition to this cost, you will need to pay €10 for each day you spend in hospital up to a period of 28 days, as well as ten per cent of ambulance transport costs.
Do I need an EHIC to travel to Germany?
Whilst it is important to ensure you have adequate travel insurance, you should also think about getting an EHIC for you and you family. Insurance policies may exclude you or your loved ones on the grounds of age or an existing medical condition. Furthermore, having an EHIC card makes the process of receiving medical treatment much more simple. If you are thinking of travelling to Germany soon, apply for your EHIC today; applying is easy and also free!