UK residents at the moment are in a position to apply for a UK International Well being Insurance coverage Card (GHIC), the federal government has introduced.
Beneath Britain’s new settlement with the EU, UK residents’ rights to emergency and medically obligatory healthcare will proceed when travelling within the area.
This contains medically obligatory remedy for a pre-existing or persistent situation.
Present European Well being Insurance coverage Playing cards (EHIC) are legitimate so long as they’re in date and other people can proceed to make use of these when travelling to the EU.
The general public solely want to use for his or her new GHIC when their present EHIC expires.
Each playing cards will provide equal safety for emergency and medically obligatory healthcare wants when within the EU on a brief keep, which incorporates vacation, examine and enterprise journey.
The brand new GHIC card is free to acquire from the official GHIC web site.
Individuals ought to apply at the very least two weeks earlier than they plan to journey to make sure their card arrives on time, the federal government stated.
Minister for well being, Edward Argar, stated: “Our cope with the EU ensures the precise for our residents to entry obligatory healthcare on their holidays and travels to nations within the EU will proceed.
“The GHIC is a key aspect of the longer term relationship with the EU and can present certainty and safety for all UK residents.”
Cowl for emergency and medically obligatory healthcare is a part of a wider healthcare settlement struck with the EU that may see continued cooperation on healthcare for UK residents.
If a UK resident is travelling and not using a card, they’re nonetheless entitled to obligatory healthcare and will contact the NHS Enterprise Companies Authority (NHS BSA) (which covers the entire of the UK), who can organize for fee ought to they require remedy when overseas.
EU member state EHICs will proceed to be accepted by the NHS.
Commenting on the brand new system, Rory Boland, Which? journey editor, stated: “The launch of the International Well being Insurance coverage Card is sweet information for customers after we warned holidaymakers in Europe might face eye-watering medical payments if a reciprocal healthcare settlement was not a part of a Brexit deal.
“We now have seen and reported quite a few unscrupulous copycat web sites charging folks to use without spending a dime GHICs, so anybody seeking to apply should stay vigilant and solely use the official NHS web site.
“You will need to bear in mind the GHIC covers fewer nations than the EHIC, so travellers ought to examine they will use it earlier than going overseas.
“We’d additionally advise holidaymakers to nonetheless purchase journey insurance coverage as quickly as they guide a vacation, so they’re lined for different points that will come up reminiscent of cancellations and misplaced baggage.”
There’s extra data on making use of for a GHIC card here.