Home Travel Tips Is an EHIC Card (EU Card) Necessary for Travelling?

Is an EHIC Card (EU Card) Necessary for Travelling?


A lot of people want to spend their summers in one of the many European countries, and although they do have the annual travel insurance, they still do not know if they need an EHIC card in addition to that insurance. Some of them don’t know it because they have no information on it, and some people have the wrong information, which can be even worse. Some folks presume that just because they have the European Health Insurance card, they are in no need to pay any other expense, including the travel insurance. But, this is not the case, mostly because this is not an either/or situation, and before travelling to Europe for a vacation, you ought to have both of them, because that would make things a lot more easier in case you fall ill or injure yourself while vacationing in a foreign European country.

Some people feel a bit confused by this, and are not quite sure about what is it that each of the two things cover. When it comes to EU Card (Formerly the E111), you need to know that it is a card that allows you to receive exactly the same medical treatment as would any other citizen of the country you’re in. However, this does not mean that you’re going to get the very same medical treatment you’d get in the United Kingdom – you’ll get the free or subsidised medical care that this country’s nationals get.

It was reported that some of the hospitals located in Portugal, Greece and Spain have been refusing to provide free medical treatment to the people with EHIC cards. In some occasions, the people with the cards were asked to pay the medical bill themselves, and on others, they were diverted to private hospitals, for which the EHIC card does not apply. But, these are just some small problems, and should not lead anyone to believe that they shouldn’t have an EHIC card, or should not update it. Having it will definitely make your vacation a lot better, and at least, you’ll have something to validate your claim that you shouldn’t pay the medical bill, or that you ought to be refunded for it, depending on the medical system in the country you’re in.

But, relying on the EHIC card alone would be quire foolish, because besides the problems we’ve already mentioned concerning this card, there are some other issues that should be mentioned, like the fact that the card won’t cover all of your medical expenses, like a flight home in case there is a medical emergency, or any other type of accommodation. You still might have to pay for prescriptions, GP appointments, ambulance rides, etc. But, having travel insurance might help you reclaim those costs. Also, this kind of insurance helps out with lost luggage, stolen items, and can even get you your money back in case you have to cancel the vacation plans. There are also other services, like a 24-hour help centre, allowing you to keep in touch with the insurance company at all times.