The UK government has introduced the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to replace its predecessor, the EHIC. We take a look at what this means for British holidaymakers.
What is the GHIC?
The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is similar to the EHIC in that it gives UK citizens the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU) when their current EHIC card runs out.
Scenarios where the GHIC would cover you include:
– emergency treatment and visits to A&E
– treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition
– routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
– routine maternity care, providing you are not travelling abroad to give birth
One important change, however, is that you will no longer be covered in non-EU countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, this new rule applies to the GHIC and EHIC.
Can I still use my EHIC?
Yes, you can continue to use your EHIC providing it is still in date.
How much will it cost?
The GHIC card is free.
How can I apply for a GHIC?
Most people can apply for a GHIC online, but some people need to apply by post. You can find out more information about applying for the GHIC via the NHS website.
When should I apply for a GHIC?
You should apply for a GHIC if your EHIC has expired or you do not have one.
Should I buy travel insurance if I have a EHIC or GHIC?
Yes. Despite the introduction of the GHIC, the UK government still recommends you take out comprehensive travel insurance before travelling.
Your travel insurance will protect in a lot of areas that the GHIC will not, such as:
– Trip cancellation cost
– Travel delay
– Medical repatriation
– Baggage and sports equipment loss or theft
– Liability cover in the case of injuring someone or damaging their property
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