The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006
Your EHIC allows you to claim European Healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for FREE.
Your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) will give you access to state healthcare at a reduced cost and in some cases for free. Production of an EHIC Card will cover you for any treatment you need when you are in Europe and it will allow you to continue your stay or your holiday. EHIC is valid for up to five years. It will also cover any treatment needed for pre-existing medical conditions and also for any routine maternity care that becomes necessary (provided you have not travelled expressly to give birth.)
The European Economic Area (EEA) is a free trade zone that has been set up between some countries of the European Union (EU), and including Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The rules governing access to healthcare in the EEA also apply in Switzerland.
If you are intending to move abroad or if you are travelling specifically to have treatment then the rules are different and you need to read about eligibility is you are moving abroad or if you are planning to have medical treatment abroad, as well as reading about the details of medical treatment in the country you intend to visit.
In case of an emergency at any time during your trip to Europe you should dial 112. This is the European emergency number (equivalent to 999 in the UK) and it will work in all EU/ EEA member states. The number is free to call. Use this number to summon emergency services - ambulance or police from any telephone or from a mobile phone.
The NHS will always reserve the right to make the ultimate decision on whether to accept or decline any EHIC application. The NHS concern, E111 EHIC is not part of the NHS, and we cannot grant you an EHIC ourselves. You may apply for an EHIC directly through the NHS for free, however you will not be able to benefit from some services or offers if you decide to ‘go it alone.’
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