More checks and paperwork for British travellers. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


The amount of paperwork Britons planning on going on holiday in the EU are having to complete and documents they have to check are valid and meet the various requisites continues to mount.

Now, a warning has been issued over the validity of the European Health Insurance Card - EHICs.
It appears that in the wake of Brexit, EHICs are being phased out and replaced with a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which also entitles Britons to the same rates for medical treatment as local citizens of the EU country they are visiting.

According to MoneySavingExpert, the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is being phased out following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

In its place you can now get the similar, free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
You can still use an EHIC for now, but if you’ve not got one, you’ll normally need to apply for a GHIC.

Both cards get free or discounted medical care in all EU countries and Switzerland.
The GHIC and the EHIC are both free and do essentially the same thing.

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If you are a UK national living in the UK, they entitle the holder to the same medical treatment as a local citizen at state-run hospitals and GPs in any European Union country and Switzerland – extremely useful in emergencies.

That means if a local citizen gets free medical treatment then you do too – but if they pay, you pay the same rates. As this is a reciprocal agreement, it also means EU citizens can use the NHS in the same way.

Prior to January 1, 2021 you were also covered with an EHIC in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
This is no longer the case and Switzerland is now the only country outside the EU to accept cards held by UK citizens (who live in the UK).

It is also worth noting a GHIC or EHIC does not cover you if you are going abroad specifically to get treatment – see the NHS website for more info.

You can apply for a free GHIC via the official NHS website – the Government says it’s currently taking up to 15 working days from the point of approval to receive a new card, so give enough time before your trip.
If you do not have your card for when you travel, but need treatment while away, you can apply for a ‘provisional replacement certificate’.