What is the Global Health Insurance card, and do I still need Travel Insurance?

At the beginning of the year, we saw an end to the Brexit transition and this brought with it some changes for UK travellers who want to visit destinations in Europe. One of these biggest changes is the end of the European Health Insurance card (EHIC) and it’s replacement -  the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). 

We caught up with Dale Robinson from our partner Just Travel Cover to answer all your key questions on what this means for holidays.

What is the European Health Insurance card (EHIC) and can I still use it in Europe?

Your EHIC card provides access to free or low-cost medical treatment in some European countries. As we have now officially left the EU, the card will eventually no longer exist but you can still use yours until it expires. You can then apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). It is advised to apply for this two weeks before travelling.

What is the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) and how is it different?

The Government has launched the GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) as the replacement for the European Health Insurance card (EHIC). The GHIC scheme is similar as it entitles you to free or reduced cost state-provided healthcare, where treatment becomes medically necessary during a temporary visit to the European Union (EU). It is important to note that in some countries, state healthcare systems charge their citizens for treatment. It is usually only a small amount, but you would have to pay for this and would not be able to claim the money back.

The EHIC and GHIC do not provide cover in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. Healthcare can be particularly expensive in some of these countries.

How does this affect Travel Insurance?

The government continues to reinforce that neither the EHIC nor the GHIC are substitutes for travel insurance and that you should still arrange for travel insurance when you book a holiday. 

Without travel insurance, there is no cover if you’re visiting a country where citizens pay for their own healthcare, so you would need to fund any medical bills yourself.  In addition, the GHIC, like the EHIC,  is not valid for any private healthcare overseas and can’t be used on cruises.

The GHIC will also not provide any cover for repatriation - this is the cost of getting you home if for example you miss your scheduled flight due to needing medical treatment in hospital.

Additionally, the GHIC won't provide cover if you need to cancel your holiday due to falling ill, being made redundant or a bereavement, delays, disruption, loss of baggage, etc, which a good travel insurance policy will.

What type of Travel Insurance do I need?

Just Travel Cover works with a range of insurers to help tailor cover to your individual requirements.

They aim to provide quotes for people of all ages and there is cover for pre-existing medical conditions too. They can even cover the loss or damage to prescribed medications, which helps provide additional peace of mind.

Plus you can now take out Travel Insurance for Covid-19, with enhanced cover providing peace of mind regarding how Coronavirus could disrupt your plans.

To get a quote visit here >

Or call: 0800 542 7169

How can I apply for a GHIC?

 You can apply via the NHS website, here > 

How can Pharmacy2U help?

Pharmacy2U can deliver your repeat prescription for free so that you have the medication you need for your travel plans. Let Pharmacy2U take care of your prescriptions while you enjoy the better things in life. Registering is quick, easy and free. 

Get tested for COVID-19 before you travel

If you are planning on travelling abroad you will need to check the entry requirements for your destination and for returning back to the UK as you may need to take a COVID-19 test to prove that you are testing negative for coronavirus. You cannot use NHS tests for traveling abroad, instead you will need a Fit-to-Fly test. 

You can purchase these from our Sister Service, Chemist Direct here >

Travel regulations are subject to change. You should keep up to date with the Government’s advice about travel and find out about your destination’s requirements.


Pharmacy2U By Pharmacy2U Published 04/08/2021