The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

EHIC confusion: a third wrongly think it replaces travel insurance

Michael Connolly
MSE News Reporter
22 May 2013

Read more news on...


Almost half of parents admit that none of their children have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), while many aren't even sure what it covers, new research has found.

Related MSE Guides

Free EHIC Card

Millions expire in 2015, check now

Cheap Travel Insurance

Annual individual policy 13, family 27

Cheap Package Holidays

Slash costs by 10% (even late deals)

But if you're heading to Europe this summer, get one now. It's vital, and could invalidate your travel insurance if you don't have one.

With almost half (48%) of parents expecting to jet off this summer with their kids, research from Asda Money reveals that 43% of parents say that none of their children have an EHIC, while 24% don't even realise that each child needs their own card (see our free EHIC card guide for more).

Meanwhile a quarter (22%) of parents don't have an EHIC, and a third (34%) wrongly believe an EHIC covers all insurance needs when in Europe.

But if you're planning a trip to Europe this summer, check your EHIC is still in date as over three million are due to expire this year. Or if you don't already have one, apply now. You can do this for free via the NHS website beware unofficial copycat sites that'll charge you.

The EHIC entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment at state-run hospitals and GPs in any European Union country, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

You get treated the same way as a citizen of that country, so if it's free for them, it's free for you.

Every family member needs their own card and once you've got one, remember to keep it with you at all times while you're away, otherwise you won't be covered.

However, while the EHIC is a useful tool, it's only about medical cover, it's not a replacement for travel insurance, which will generally cover you for other problems including cancellation, delay, repatriation, baggage loss and theft. If you're going away, get both. For the best travel insurance deals see our Cheap Travel Insurance guide.


Discuss this MSE news story: EHIC warning

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.