With year round warm temperatures, a relaxed lifestyle and a beautiful coastline, Malta is a top destination for travellers and UK expats alike. However, one of the most important things you must bring with you on your trip to Malta is often overlooked – your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In fact, just recently the British High Commission issued a statement urging Brits travelling to Malta to bring their EHIC card, an essential item on the holiday checklist.
It may only be a piece of plastic, but it entitles you to any necessary treatment you require whilst visiting or residing in Malta. No one ever anticipates things will go wrong whilst away on holiday or planning a new life abroad, however, an EHIC can provide you and your family with peace of mind, free from the worry of a large medical bill should the worst happen.
How does the EHIC work?
UK citizens should apply for an EHIC card before going abroad. This can be done online and it is a quick and easy process. Your EHIC card will mean that you have simpler access to medical care and services whilst you are in Malta. You should make sure to take care of your card after you receive it, and ensure you take it to any EEA country to which you are travelling, including Malta. In order to receive treatment, each person travelling must have their own EHIC card.
When you require medical treatment or assistance you will be required to present you EHIC card. This will entitle you to receive the medical care free of charge or to be reimbursed for some or all of the cost at a later date.
The card will not enable you to receive every treatment, and certain conditions apply. You can only receive treatment deemed to be necessary, and whether a treatment is necessary will be determined by the doctor treating you. Normally treatment will not be deemed to be necessary where you can wait until you return home to the UK to be treated. Furthermore, your EHIC card is only valid in relation to state medical treatment – it will not cover private healthcare.
Any treatment you do receive will be provided to you on the same basis as that of a Maltese national covered by state insurance. For example, any medical services or treatment provided free of charge for Maltese nationals will also be provided to UK nationals with an EHIC free of charge. However, care and services that incur a charge for Maltese nationals will also incur a charge of UK EHIC holders.
Your EHIC card should remain valid for between three and five years.
Do I need an EHIC to travel to Malta?
It is important that you apply for an EHIC card before you travel to Malta for personal or business reasons. Having an EHIC card will provide you with more simple access to any necessary medical service you require, and provide a sense of security for you and your family knowing that you are covered should anything happen, leaving you free to enjoy your travels. Apply today – it’s quick and easy!