Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, July 06, 2007

Apply for your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) online

For many years I can remember queuing at the post office to collect my 'E111' form that gives free reciprocal health cover if you're travelling within the European Union (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

A couple of years ago the E111 was 'Europeanised' and replaced with the snappily named 'EHIC' (European Health Insurance Card). We've been encouraging guests through our Gite booking conditions to apply for one as it doesn't cost you anything and it gives a basic level of medical cost cover if you're abroad for a short period of time (as long as you're a British, EU, EEA or Swiss national and living in the UK). The EHIC is complementary to travel insurance and some insurance companies insist that you have one or have to pay an excess if you don't have one. Note that the EHIC only covers state medical cover and doesn't include things like repatriation or lost luggage, etc.

Up until now it's been necessary to apply for your EHIC card by phone on 0845 606 2030 or by collecting the requisite form from the Post Office.

Well now the DoH has gone all internetty and you can now apply online for your EHIC card via a new EHIC website. You need one for each member of the family (including children) and

As the EHIC's are only valid for 5 years you can also use the online site to renew your card. The E111's are now all invalid so if you haven't got one I strongly suggest you do so as soon as

Further details on the EHIC and general health advice for travellers is available on the DoH website.

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