Since the Brexit rules came into force at the start of 2021, Britons have seen a few changes when traveling to the European Union. A major change is the loss of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which has since been replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
Although the GHIC is not a substitute for ordinary travel insurance, which all Britons should have, wherever they go, the GHIC is an important entitlement that everyone should take advantage of.
According to the NHS: “For most people, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) replaces the existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for new applications.”
Gov.uk explains: “A GHIC allows you to get medically necessary public healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge.
“If your EHIC is still in effect, you do not need to apply for a new GHIC.
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A guide to applying for your GHIC
You can apply for a GHIC on the NHS website here.
Before you begin the application process, you will need your National Insurance Number (NI), as well as the NI numbers of any other persons over the age of 16 for whom you are applying.
Depending on your situation, you may also be asked for your NHS number.
To get started, select the service you want to use. It is either an “application for health cover abroad” or “replacement of a lost, stolen or damaged card”.
When applying for a new GHIC, you must indicate whether you like the UK, EU, EEA or Switzerland, or another country.
You will then be asked if you have medical cover from a country other than the UK, such as an S1, E121, E106 or E109.
The NHS will ask you if you were “ordinarily resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020”.
Applicants must then share information about their nationality and whether they are studying abroad.
You will then need to enter your first and last name, date of birth, home address and specify any plans to move abroad.
The NHS application process will ask for your NI number, email address and a contact telephone number.
Finally, you will be asked if you want to submit an additional request for someone else, for example your partner or your child.
Before submitting your application, you will have the opportunity to review your answers.
In some cases, GHIC may require additional information, such as proof of residency in the form of personal documents.
They will contact you directly if this is the case.