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EHIC Card Renewal & Application

ehic card renewal and application processWhy get an EHIC Card renewal? The European Health Insurance Card’s primary purpose is to provide EEA residents with affordable and necessary healthcare services and treatments during their travels to other EEA countries. However, this only covers health conditions that were incurred during the travel, unless it’s an existing long-term medical condition that needs routine treatments. Such conditions may include asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions, among others. These conditions, however, are only covered by the European health card if and only if the treatment is part of routine care and not the primary reason why the cardholder travelled to the country. It is important to note that arrangements for these treatments will have to be done in advance. Any planned special treatments such as giving birth in the foreign country is not covered by the E111 Card and should be communicated to the concerned parties. free european health insurance card renewal onlineListed below are just some of the treatments that may be covered by the EHIC card, subject to the host country’s healthcare policies and laws:

  • Treatments for conditions that were incurred or have developed during the trip
  • Treatments for injuries from accidents that occurred during the trip
  • Routine care for those with pre-existing long-term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions, among others, provided that arrangements are made in advance
  • Routine maternity care, provided that giving birth in the foreign country was not the main reason for visiting it
  • Emergency care for those who go into premature labor and delivery
  • Oral and dental treatment
  • Prescription medications
  • Hospitalization
  • Other treatments, procedures, and services that may be necessary

Again, the policies may be different depending on the country you’re travelling to. Some countries may be able to offer all of the treatments mentioned above while others can’t. The treatments may also be free or may come at a specified price depending on the country. It is therefore best to do your research before travelling to the country so that you have an idea on what to expect in cases of emergencies. It is also a good idea to take note of the what and where the accredited healthcare institutions are in the country that you are visiting because getting treatment from unaccredited institutions will defeat the whole purpose of having an EHIC. applying for an eu health cardKeep in mind that since the EU Health Card is a product of agreements only between European governments and not private institutions, travellers are only entitled to the basic treatments and services that public healthcare institutions can offer. Any additional services or treatments are not covered by the EHIC card and are therefore subject to additional costs. Such services and treatments include but are not limited to the following:

  • Treatments and services from private institutions and practitioners
  • Unnecessary treatments that can wait until you return home
  • Treatments of patients whose primary purpose of travelling to the country is to get healthcare treatments
  • Repatriation costs, or costs incurred in the event that you have to be sent home

One important thing to understand about the EHIC is that it is not an alternative to travel insurance. Instead, they complement each other. The EHIC covers public care while travel insurance can cover treatments from private institutions. The latter also covers costs from situations such as flight cancellations and/or delays, lost or damaged personal belongings, and even repatriation. It is therefore always best to get an EHIC along with travel insurance to ensure that all angles are covered. In fact, because they work so well with each other, many insurance companies offer discounts or other special promotions to European medical card (EHIC) cardholders.

EHIC Card Renewal, EHIC Application and Validity

e111 card replacementDuring its early days, EHIC applications and EHIC card renewals were done manually. EEA residents were required to appear at the agency providing the European Health Insurance Card, fill up the EHIC application form, and submit it personally. Those who don’t have immediate access to these agencies were required to do it personally at the Post Office instead. This can take quite a long time, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to go at a time when many other residents are applying. Apart from the obvious hassle of going all the way to these places and waiting in long lines just to apply for a card, this manual application procedure gave way to red tape issues, making obtaining an EHIC Card a considerably long process. If that’s not enough, those unfortunate enough to have errors or issues in their applications will have to wait even longer as these get sorted out. Fortunately, the issues on the EHIC application process were addressed with the advancement of technology. The Internet has made it possible for EEA residents to apply for the European Health Insurance Card without having to leave their homes. To apply for an EHIC card today, EEA residents simply have to log on to the website, provide the necessary information needed on the application form, and click submit. The EHIC application team will review the application and send the card to your home address if approved. Applicants can also check the status of their applications real-time. No more going out of your way to go to the agency or post office, no more long lines, and no more red tapes. Everything will be delivered right at your doorstep. The EHIC (formerly e111 card) is valid for up to 5 years from the date of issuance, and EHIC renewals can be done at least 6 months before expiry. A lot can happen in five years, though – people can get married, get kids, or move to different cities. The best part about the online EHIC application is that any changes in your personal information can also be posted online. Simply make an annotation on your existing details and submit. Again, prompt notifications regarding the status of your application are immediately sent. EHIC applications and EHIC renewals can also be done by family, so only one person needs to supply all the information. However, instead of getting only one approved document like what happened with the E111 card, each member of the family gets his/her own European Health Card (EHIC).

European Health Insurance Card Summary

Travelling abroad has become easier throughout the years but many travellers still forget to account for one very important detail when doing so: making sure that they get access to quality and affordable healthcare. What they fail to understand is that in the event of any medical emergencies, healthcare treatments could cost a fortune, especially if you are a foreigner. European governments have studied this concern and have decided to protect their residents not only in their own countries but even while they are travelling to other European countries. Thus, the foundation of the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). The EU Health Card (EHIC) is definitely a travel document that Europeans should have when exploring other European countries. It is an advantage card that offers EEA residents access to state-provided healthcare treatments and services at reduced or no costs during their travels to EEA countries other than their own. There are currently around 32 countries offering and accepting the EHIC card, all of whom have agreed to treat European Health Card-holders as how they would treat their own residents in terms of healthcare. Formed by members of the European Economic Area (EEA) as a replacement for the E111 form, the EHIC card has definitely changed the way Europeans travel. Like every new introduction to the market, the EHIC has had its share of changes and improvements. From manual applications and long waiting lines to quick and efficient online applications, the European Health Insurance Card has become even easier for Europeans to obtain. european medical card benefitsThe important thing to remember about the EHIC card is that the benefits will not always be the same. Different countries will have different healthcare laws and policies, and cardholders will be treated according to these policies. Some countries, for example, can offer free services while others would require a patient share. Healthcare institutions in some countries may also require you to pay the full amount upfront and then just reimburse the state share afterwards. It is therefore important to read up on the healthcare policies of the country that you will be travelling to so that you know what to expect in case of medical emergencies. Another vital fact to remember is that the EHIC is not and should not be used as an alternative to travel insurance. The former only covers basic treatments in public or state institutions while the latter can cover additional costs such as private treatments, flight delays, and repatriation, among others. Instead of using them as alternatives, then, it is best to have both during your travels as a precaution. With all these being said, it is safe to assume that the European Health Insurance card is a welcome advantage for European residents. With all the benefits that you can get from it, along with the easy application and renewal processes, it would be silly not to avail of such offer. Visit the EHIC website today to get your EHIC card renewal and enjoy stress-free travels in the future.

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