When we venture abroad, we tend to pack our suitcase and make a checklist. Usually, at the top of our checklist is making sure we’ve got our passport, money, cards, ID, travel documents and, of course, sun cream. However, one key item we seem to miss off the list is our EHIC card.

At present, if you live within the European Union you are entitled to free healthcare when travelling to another country within the EU. This free healthcare comes in the form of a round blue card, named the EHIC card, which you will be asked to present upon request of a medical appointment.

Here are Cuuver.com, we’re always looking for new ways to help with your travel insurance and make sure you are well prepared before going abroad. That’s why we’ve outlined how important it is to remember to pack your EHIC card.

What is a EHIC card?

The European Health Insurance Card is free and gives you access to the same treatment that locals in the country you are visiting will be entitled to. Without it, you will have to pay upfront medical fees, which is all well and good if you have great travel insurance. However, if you don’t have travel insurance, or purchased travel insurance with a low level of excess, this means money you intended to spend on holiday will be lost on healthcare costs that you could have so easily avoided if you’d made that all-important check before boarding the plane.


It’s important to be aware that the free or discounted healthcare the EHIC card provides is available only in European countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Any UK resident is eligible for an EHIC card and with it being free of charge, both for the card and the healthcare benefits it entitles you to, it’s definitely worth quickly applying for one for when you travel abroad in the E.U.

You still need travel insurance if you have a European health insurance card

Owning an EHIC card doesn’t give you an excuse to not get travel insurance, either. Remember, although it does entitle you to free or discounted healthcare, if you are seriously ill and you have no travel insurance cover, you still face hefty fees. Plus, the card doesn’t cover the cost of your prescriptions.

EHIC limitations

EHIC card doesn’t cover you for health treatments specifically planned for a trip abroad, so you must be mindful of this if you have arranged healthcare in advance.

For further travel insurance help and advice, be sure to check out our handy guides available on our online blog. Or, if you’re looking to compare travel insurance deals and get cuuvered, compare quotes online today.

This should not be construed as advice and is for guidance only.