This month it was announced that Croatia has officially joined the EU. This means that they are now also part of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme that offers free or discounted medical treatment to those visiting countries within the EU. However, with over 3.5m cards are due to expire throughout 2013, have you checked yours?
It is important to check your EHIC in good time before the commencement date of your trip and order a new one if it has expired - The expiry date can be found on the bottom right of the card.
Furthermore, if you are travelling to the EU this Summer and you have an EHIC card, purchase an Alpha Travel Insurance policy and we will waiver your policy excess!
If I have an EHIC, is all medical treatment free?
No, although the EHIC entitles the cardholder to free or discounted medical treatment with some parts of the EU, not everything is free. For example, in many countries ambulances are not free, and if you need to be admitted to hospital often this is charged per night.
Prescriptions are usually free or at discounted price.
Do I need travel insurance if I already have an EHIC?
Short answer - YES! The EHIC should never be used as a replacement for travel insurance.
Although the EHIC will help in many circumstances, it excludes cover for things like baggage, cancellation, mountain rescue and travel delay.
Repatriation is another essential item that is excluded from the EHIC scheme; but is covered as standard under your Alpha Travel Insurance policy.
Where can I get an EHIC from?
There are several ways you can apply for, or renew, an EHIC:
Online: Visit the official NHS website and type "œEHIC Card" in to the search box.
By phone: 0300 330 1350
By post: An application form can be printed directly from the NHS website and posted.
The EHIC is free and should arrive within 7-10 working days of your application. Be aware of any unofficial websites or those that issue a charge.
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