NHS: European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

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Service summary

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) enables EU residents to have access to state provided healthcare in countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) including Switzerland. As a holder of a valid EHIC, the healthcare provided will be a reduced cost or free and will cover your treatment until your return to the United Kingdom.

This free card is considered to be a useful addition to travel insurance provision but does not replace travel insurance. It is therefore strongly recommend, that if you intend to travel to Europe that every family member (child or adult) has both in place. 

In most cases, pre-existing medical conditions including maternity care is included as part of the EHIC. Although, cover varies from country to country. Please refer to the official website for more information and to apply.    

To apply for a free, European Health Insurance Card
- complete an online form from the official NHS website
- telephone 0300 330 1350 and follow the automated prompts
- download an application form from the NHS website and post the completed form to NHS Business Services Authority, European Health Insurance Card, EHIC applications, Bridge House, 152 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6SN. 

What you will need to provide
- full name of each traveller
- date of birth
- National Insurance number or NHS number   

If you are an elderly retiree or pensioner, special considerations are in place. Please visit the dedicated page on the NHS website for details.

The page was last updated on 26 May 2015

Main address

EHIC applications
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Main telephone

0300 330 1350