If you have a plan to travel outside your home country in Europe, you must be prepared with EHIC or European Health Insurance Card. If your old card has expired, you must opt for EHIC card renewal.
The EHIC is valid for five years. You may not need it within the period if you have not travelled outside your country or if you haven’t fallen sick not needed any treatment even during travelling.
But, you never know when you fall ill and needed emergency medical care while you are out of your homeland.
Some countries may ask you to pay the partial amount needed for the surgery or hospital and clinic care, even you are in the possession of EHIC. You will be reimbursed after you return to your native land and produce the prescriptions, receipts, and bills.
As per the reports of the Department of Health, the British travellers often delay their treatment in spite of encountering an accident or sickness because of the high raised cost and absence of travel insurance.
Even the European Commission has deliberately instructed the travellers to mandatorily carry EHIC while they are on a temporary tour for any purpose such as business, education, and job or roaming.
It’s not an intelligent activity to purchase OTC (over the counter) medicines or self-treat if fall sick in the foreign country. The language constraint can play adversity on the health too as you may end up in buying wrong medicines.
EHIC card renewal is extremely essential as you will receive free health treatment or care at a very low cost in most of the European countries. You can travel worry-free.
The locals of Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not covered by EHIC. It is, however, a reciprocal agreement that prevails throughout Europe.
Remember to renew your EU Health Card, 6 months before the final expiry. But, if the card has already got lapsed, you can apply for new one. The same procedure is required for re-application as you have done while applying EHIC for the first time.
Never think that EHIC will cover something else along with the medical treatment. It is only for the healthcare. Thus, if your flight is delayed or cancelled, your properties are lost or looted; EHIC is not responsible for proving you compensation.
If your injury triggers the urgency to take you to the nearby private hospital in the country that you stepped in, then your EHIC won’t assist you in the terms of payment. You have to bear the entire expenditure.
Another thing: Never substitute EHIC for travel insurance. Both are different and you must carry the two while travelling within the European countries.
You can get EHIC coverage in few overseas territories also. Never leave your card in a hotel while you are out because if you become sick or face accident suddenly, you have to produce the card, otherwise, you have to pay up front.
The public healthcare institutions are bound to give you treatment for free or reduced cost if you show EHIC. If they won’t, it will be considered as the breach of EU law.
You may have to pay a little amount, but, if you are forced to pay havoc in the public sectors, collect evidence and produce them to claim the money back.
As per the European Commission, you must be extremely careful during signing any paper in the other country that you have visited. In few countries, the hospitals provide both public and private healthcare, while in some places; separate institutions are there for private and public treatments. Check thoroughly before you jump into any conclusion if you are in a state to physically scrutinise it.
If you are lucky enough, then the state can help in getting compensation under EHIC even part of private care or treatment underwent in a private hospital. It depends on the specialised extremity.