A valid health insurance can save you much heartache and disappointment when it comes to accessing healthcare. This is especially true in times of emergencies. Ever since the inception of the European Union, citizens of member countries have continued to enjoy benefits of being part of this pact. This includes common currencies thus better and enhanced trade, improved transportation systems which encourage easy movement of people, goods and services and other government initiated incentives. Another great blessing for all UK citizens apart from the above mentioned, is the availability of a common health insurance card. Being in possession of a valid European health insurance card guarantees you will get treatment from a public health institution free of charge. So while you are visiting any of these European countries, you will still get treatment juts like a citizen of that country would. There are some instances where you will be required to pay a small percentage towards payment of the treatment. This is what is referred to as patient co-payment. These options will often depend on the regulations of your home country.
Read for explanation about EHIC card.
The card is your gateway to accessing medical care in times of emergencies or routine maternal checkup and care. But you need to remember that the card will not cover treatment if your specific purpose of traveling to a certain country is to give birth. The good thing about the card is that the recent UK referendum has not changed the rules of the card. You can still use your EHIC card as you did in the past. There are various online platforms and social media sites where you can get more information on how to apply and renew the card. You also have the option of downloading the EHIC App on your phone so as to get updates. Although the card is a blessing for UK citizens, it needs to be valid and in good standing for you to enjoy the services offered. Here a few things to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your EHIC card;
- Ensure it is valid; the card’s shelf life is 5 years. A recent study proved that a huge percentage of card holders are not aware of this fact and therefore stay with expired cards. You can renew the card even 6 months before the expiry date.
- Always carry it with you; when on vacation, there are some instances where you feel there is no need of carrying personal identification items. But in order to benefit from this card, you need to carry it with you at all times. In times of emergencies, the card will determine the kind of healthcare you will receive.
- The card is not a substitute for travel insurance; the card will not cover treatment in private hospitals or cover damages caused by lost or stolen property. Therefore ensure that you also carry your travel insurance card with you along with the European health insurance card. You can read more about EHIC here or apply for EHIC.
- Ensure the details are up to date; when applying for the card, you are usually required to fill in personal names, address, date of birth etc. ensure all these details are up to date before seeking treatment.
By keeping the above points in mind, you are guaranteed peace of mind as you travel within Europe. The European health insurance card (EHIC) has already helped millions of people gain acess to state healthcare free of charge, including their spouses and family members. By having the card, you will be protecting yourself from serious situations which could arise as a result of lacking an insurance card when accessing a hospital.