Has your EHIC expired?

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28 million of us in the UK have an EHIC, the modern day equivalent of the old E111, which allows us access to state funded health care in EU countries, plus a few others such as Iceland and Switzerland. What many of us do not realise, however, is that these cards have an expiry date and indeed 3 million are due to expire by March 2009.

What’s more, many of us not only risk being denied basic health care should we fall ill or suffer an accident abroad but we also run the risk of invalidating our travel insurance. The EHIC is by no means a substitute for full travel cover (it does not, for instance, cover repatriation to the UK in the event of a serious injury or lost or stolen belongings), but many providers insist that customers also have an in-date EHIC and some may waive the excess on the policy.

If you discover that your EHIC has expired, it is quick and easy to renew it online and it should be posted to you within ten days. If you would prefer to apply by post, a form and envelope can be picked up at the Post Office or alternatively you can apply by telephone on 0845 606 2030. Make sure that you have the full details necessary to hand i.e. your full name and date of birth, plus NHS or NI number.

It is possible to renew up to six months before expiry, meaning that there really is no excuse for being caught out. For more information see the website.


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