Get healthcare cover for travelling abroad

Use this service to:

  • check if you are eligible and apply for cover
  • replace a lost, stolen, or damaged card

Applying for cover

If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a card that can be used to get emergency treatment.

You only need to apply if you plan to visit the EU, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, or Switzerland.

Depending on your circumstances this will be either a:

  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
  • UK European Health Insurance Card (new UK EHIC), if you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement

During your application we’ll let you know what you’re entitled to. Both cards provide the same cover but are valid in different countries.

Where the cards are valid and what they cover.

A UK GHIC or existing EHIC covers you when visiting an EU country and Switzerland. A UK GHIC may become valid in more countries in the future.

A new UK EHIC covers you when visiting an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland.

Both cards give you access to state provided healthcare while staying in an EU country for things like:

What countries are in the European Union (EU)?

The EU countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Both cards give you access to state provided healthcare while staying in an EU country for things like:

Healthcare cover in Switzerland

Your card only covers you for healthcare in Switzerland if you’re:

  • a UK national
  • a Swiss national
  • a national of an EU country
  • a stateless person or refugee
  • a family member of someone who holds one of these nationalities or statuses.

You may be asked for proof of nationality or status when accessing healthcare in Switzerland.

Important: If you already have a card

If you have an existing EHIC, it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card. Once your current card expires, you'll need to apply for a new card.

You can apply for a new card up to 6 months before your current card expires.

Before you start

You'll need:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • The National Insurance numbers of any other people, including your partner, you are applying for who are 16 years old or over
Information:

Depending on your circumstances we may also ask for your NHS number, if you have one.

Important: Timeout warning

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Who can apply for this service

If you are abroad and do not have your card with you

You can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to prove your entitlement to medically necessary healthcare if you travel to the EU without your UK EHIC or UK GHIC and need treatment during your visit. This includes if you travel and require treatment before you have received your card.

You should only apply for a PRC at the point you need treatment. PRCs cannot be issued in advance. Make sure you have the email address of the hospital you are attending when you apply.

To apply for a PRC contact NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

Arrange travel insurance

Your UK EHIC or UK GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. It may not cover all health costs and never covers repatriation costs. Make sure you have travel insurance as well as an UK EHIC or UK GHIC.

How we use your information

To process your application, we may share your information (where appropriate) with:

  • Indesser and LexisNexis, third party data providers acting on our behalf who will make a UK residency check
  • NHS Digital to validate EU Settlement Scheme status

For more information about how we use your information please read our privacy notice.