EU health card or European Health Insurance Card is the card issued for free of cost whereby the person who is covered by Statutory Social Security Scheme receives medical treatment at reduced rates or for free of cost. This card has replaced E111 certificate in the year 2005 itself and since then it is valid. Here the person gets the right to take healthcare services provided by the state during the temporary stay in one of the EU countries. This treatment may also be availed in countries like European Economic Area and Switzerland.
The benefits of holding EU health card
Holding this card gives the card holder a series of benefits. In-patient hospital stay and General Practitioner visits are the major benefits. The healthcare system is similar to that of NHS but in some cases, you may be asked to pay the small portion as treatment cost. The card holder may still be asked to pay some amount for seeing a GP. But, this amount may be got back at the later stage. It is important to check the policy information online. However, this card is not a substitute for travel insurance or it won’t cover private medical healthcare cost. While you seek treatment, most probably you will get the treatment at a private healthcare centre. What matters here is that you must be treated as EHIC patient.
Does it cover the medical emergency cost?
You may wonder whether or not EU Health Card covers medical expenses or not . But, you can avail medical treatment in an emergency when in Europe. Some of the places are not covered by health card. This implies that not all the places in Europe are covered by the health card. Key emissions are Channel Islands, San Marino, Monaco and Vatican. If such places are covered as per the health card, you must seriously consider the card.
Applying for European Health Card
There are various card booking sites you may access online. For booking the card, you will be charged some amount of fees. Applying online is the fastest and most convenient way to apply for the health card. It will be valid for 5 years and after that, the card has to be renewed. If the card gets lost, you have to apply for it again. Provide your email address and National Insurance Number to acquire a fresh card. If you fail to acquire EHIC card, apply for PRC card which serves the same purpose. When on holiday or when seeking treatment, you must produce EHIC card. The cost of treatment gets significantly reduced if you show the card. To procure the card, enter in few details such as name, date of birth and some other important details.
Those who live in Malta or covered by National Social Security Legislation, they can apply for the healthcare service under EU health card. It is issued for free of cost to legal residents belonging to participating countries.