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When should I renew my European Health Insurance Card?

Your European Health Insurance Card is an important bit of kit – it’s the document that tells doctors in state-run surgeries and hospitals all over the European Economic Area (EEA) that you’re entitled to medical treatment at a reduced cost, or for free.

It’s important to keep up to date with your European Health Insurance Card renewal because of the wide ranging benefits that it offers you when you are travelling in Europe, whether it’s a beach holiday, a business trip or a city break.

Your EHIC will cover you for any emergency treatment that you might find yourself needing in another country, including sudden illness and accidents as well as treatment for any chronic illnesses or long-term conditions which might flare up while you’re away from home.

That’s not all though. If you need oxygen or kidney dialysis, your European Health Insurance Card will cover that too – your normal doctor should be able to offer advice and find out for you how to book such services, which you’ll generally need to do.

Renewal of European Health Insurance Card (EHIC Renewal)

It doesn’t cover expectant mothers who travel abroad specifically to give birth, however, if your little one can’t wait any longer and you end up giving birth in another country in the EEA, all costs associated with the birth will be covered (for mum and baby) by the card.

An EHIC lasts for a period of five years, and EHIC renewal is available from six months before your current card runs out. If you have no intention of travelling in the immediate future then there’s no rush to renew, but if you do have European travel in your calendar then the sooner you crack on with your EHIC renewal, the better.

Procuring a new European Health Insurance Card is usually a very quick process, but by leaving plenty of time you can give yourself complete peace of mind, and avoid any last minute panic or rush to get everything done in time.

Even if your EHIC is lost or stolen or doesn’t arrive in time, you’re covered from the date of your application. That means that if you find yourself in need of treatment before you have your EHIC in your hand, you won’t end up paying through the nose for treatment.

You’ll be able to apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate to be sent directly to your place of treatment, which endows you with the same rights as the European Health Insurance Card to free or reduced cost treatment in the European Economic Area.

If you apply for EHIC renewal as a family you can ensure that your EHIC cards remain linked on the system; and remember, the earlier you get the job out of the way, the more you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you and your family have the right to free or reduced cost healthcare when you’re travelling in Europe.

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