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How do I renew my EHIC card?

The EHIC is one of the important travel documents you need when you go on holiday in Europe. When you first get an EHIC – which stands for European Health Insurance Card – it lasts for five years, so if yours is running out, it is time to renew it.

The EHIC is free, so you do not have to pay to have your card renewed for another five years. However, if you want to make the process even easier, you can pay for a company to renew your card for you – saving you time. European Health Insurance Card renewal is a simple and quick process that can protect you from large medical bills if you get ill or have an accident while abroad.

How the EHIC renewal works

The EHIC card entitles travellers to free or reduced-cost treatment in some European countries, making it a great document to carry when on holiday on the continent. Medical bills can be very high in some nations around Europe, so it is well worth getting the EHIC before you travel. The card lasts for five years before it needs to be renewed and travellers can renew their card as soon as it is within six months of expiry.

What you need to renew a European Health Insurance Card

EHIC renewal means you will need to provide various detail for the process to go through. Among these are your full name and address, as well as your date of birth and either your National Insurance or NHS number if you live in England or Wales. Travellers from Northern Ireland will need to give their Health and Care number, and Scots should provide their CHI number.

These details help to identify people and ensure they are able to receive a new EHIC. During EHIC renewal, it is possible to add a partner who is living at the same address for no added cost.

Where to use your EHIC Card

EHIC is valid in all countries that are a part of the European Economic Area, which is the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Treatment of pre-existing medical conditions is allowed by using your EHIC, while routine maternity care is also provided for holders of the card. However, anyone with a European Health Insurance Card who is going abroad to have a specific type of treatment should be aware that different rules may apply.

Travel insurance is not to be replaced

It is important to remember that the EHIC should not be considered a replacement for travel insurance. The EHIC is not valid in every European country, so if you are travelling around the continent a lot, EHIC renewal is even more important.

The card does not necessarily entitle you to free medical treatment either, merely treatment at a reduced cost, so your medical bills could still be large if the worst happens on holiday. Private medical healthcare is not covered by the EHIC and neither is being flown home to the UK or mountain rescue from ski resorts.

EHIC should therefore be thought of as an accompaniment to a travel insurance policy rather than a replacement for holiday cover.

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