It is always advisable to take out comprehensive travel insurance when we go on holiday or taking a business trip abroad. In addition it is worth taking our European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with us for health emergency cover.

But as its name “European” suggests, is the EHIC card still valid for use in EU countries now the UK has left the EU?

The answer is yes.

The UK government announced that even though the UK is no longer part of the EU, there is an agreement in place, that UK residents’ rights to emergency and medically necessary healthcare (pre-existing or chronic conditions) will continue when travelling in the EU. Your EHIC will be valid until the expiry date, so you can continue to use it while travelling to the EU.

When your card expires, you have to apply for a new one; it is now called Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). It is still free to request and recommended if you are travelling abroad. If you do not own EHIC, you should apply for a GHIC next time you travel.

Find more details on UK GOV here – https://www.gov.uk/global-health-insurance-card

You don’t have to have a GHIC or EHIC card, but if you require emergency or medical treatment while in the EU it will help. If you don’t have one, a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) can be obtained which will provide the same coverage for healthcare as GHIC or EHIC. The PRC can only be requested at the point of requiring care, which may be difficult in some situations, and almost certainly not going to be on your mind.