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How long is my EHIC valid for?

If you’re travelling to a participating European Union or European Economic Area country, you’ll want to know that you’re covered for every eventuality. A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is your proof of eligibility for overseas healthcare, and you should make sure that you never travel without yours. Your EHIC is valid for five years from the date of issue, so make sure that yours is in date before you travel, and set a reminder to make sure that you renew it in good time.

When should I renew my EHIC?

You don’t need to wait until your insurance card expires before you apply for a renewal: you can replace your card up to six months prior to the end date. Extra time won’t be carried over to your new card, so bear this in mind; each card is valid for five years from the date of issue. Extensions can be arranged in special circumstances and will be discussed on an individual basis. If you know that you’re travelling soon, be sure to check the date on your card and apply for a renewed EHIC if needed. You’ll get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re covered in an emergency and can access the help you need.

What if my details have changed?

You can renew your card quickly and easily online if all of your details are the same as they were with the last card. If your name or address has changed, you’ll need to speak to someone over the phone to verify your details. You may be able to bypass this, however, if you still have the PIN number you were issued with your previous card: a six digit code that you can submit with your application to auto-renew and update as required.

What does an EHIC cost?

There’s no charge for the issue of a European Health Insurance Card if you apply directly to the NHS. As a UK citizen, you are entitled to a card that permits you to access overseas health services. There are also no processing or handling costs with the NHS – your card will be sent out to you free of charge upon a successfully approved application. You may find that having a card is necessary for your insurance policy, and some insurers will reduce premium costs if you’ve got a valid EHIC – However, we offer a check and submit service, where we check over your European Health Insurance Card application to ensure everything is as it should be and process the application for you. For this service we do charge. You can check our fees with us before you apply.

Can I apply on someone else’s behalf?

If you’re a carer or parent, or if you’re handling EHIC applications for a travel group or for your spouse, you can apply on their behalf. You’ll need to have the correct details to hand, and permission from the person you’re applying for. If you’re unsure at any stage of the application, you can find helpful advice online or speak to the Home Office, who will advise you. If you’re applying but are not a UK resident, you’ll also need to speak to the Home Office who will verify your visa and approve your application if you qualify for a European Health Insurance Card.

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