New rules on travel health insurance for UK residents

Starting in 2006, UK residents travelling to Europe and/or Switzerland need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in order to receive necessary healthcare while visiting an EEA country or Switzerland.

The UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with the countries set out below, allowing travellers to receive free or low cost emergency care. You should be aware that you may still have to make a contribution to the cost of your care.

The card is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, due to illness or an accident.

People who are ordinarily resident in the UK are entitled to a UK-issued EHIC. There are, however, some restrictions depending upon your nationality. There are also other circumstances that may also affect your eligibility for an EHIC such as, if you are planning to work, live or study in an EEA country or Switzerland.

The EHIC will cover you for any treatment for a chronic or pre-existing condition; however, it will not cover you if your sole purpose of your trip to Europe or Switzerland is to receive medical treatment. The EHIC is necessary for travel as of January 1, 2006.


Belgium
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
The Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain (including the Canary and Balearic Islands)
Sweden
Switzerland