June 22, 2021

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Poppin Fresh Travel

Online applications now open for a free Global Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is being phased out following the Brexit deal in favour of a new, free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

Despite the current travel ban in place across the UK, people can now apply online for the GHIC which gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the EU.

However, the NHS website states that your current UK EHIC will continue to be valid in EU countries.

The website also adds that “your EHIC is valid in the EU until it expires. You do not need to apply for a GHIC if you already have an EHIC. Once your EHIC has expired, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC.”

Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them – applications for an EHIC or GHIC are completely free of charge.

It is also worth noting that neither the EHIC nor the GHIC are replacements for travel insurance – they do not cover holiday cancellations, mountain rescue, repatriation and more. So you would need travel insurance on top.

You can check the expiry date of your EHIC by looking at the bottom right-hand corner of the card.

It was estimated that more than five million cards were due to expire in 2020, and while we don’t have the number for 2021 yet, it’s likely to be a similar figure.

How to apply for a GHIC

You need to go via the official UK Government website here.