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This is sort of a public service announcement for all of my European friends out there! 

Did you know that over fifty percent of people in the United Kingdom do not realize that the European Health Insurance Card (known as EHIC for short) even has an expiry date? EHIC renewal has never been easier. You can now process your renewal online and receive your new European Health Insurance Card by post in just three to ten working days. Even if you have to amend details from your previous application or simply just want to make a renewal for one person from a family application you can still do this by following the website’s FAQ and guidelines. By putting yourself as the main applicant, you can also apply for up to four children under the age of eighteen.

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You can make an online card renewal anytime within six months before the previous card is due to expire. Trying to renew your card before the six-month expiry deadline can result in your application coming up as ‘already existing’ and therefore making the application a complete waste of time. Before you take a long relaxing weekend getaway in the UK, check your dates. The European Health Insurance Card lasts for up to five years. However, despite five years being a very long time, do not fall in to the trap of not checking your card’s expiry date as letting the card run past its expiry date could prevent you from accessing state provided healthcare within the country you plan on traveling to and could ultimately leave you seriously out of pocket!

Figures show that it can cost around twenty-five thousand pounds for just the use of an air ambulance if you were involved in a skiing accident in the mountains for example! Once you have made the EHIC renewal online, you are automatically covered upon the application being accepted and confirmed. So even if you forget to take your European Health Insurance Card abroad with you, you are still covered no matter what. Please bear in mind that we strongly advise you to have your European Health Insurance Card on you at all times just to be on the safe side. Remember, like the old E111, it is much better to have it on hand should you need it to access the local healthcare facilities within your holiday destination area.

Completing your EHIC renewal has never been easier. When completing your EHIC renewal online application, you will be asked to input a couple of details such as your forename and surname, National Insurance Number or National Health Service Number, a United Kingdom address and contact phone number. Once your EHIC renewal has been processed, each applicant included in the application can expect to receive a European Health Insurance Card each, in the post, three to ten working days after approval.

 Is it really worth running the risk of not being covered when travelling abroad? How would you feel on potentially paying out thousands to tens of thousands of pounds unnecessarily for medical treatment when you can have your own European Health Insurance Card by simply applying online? Remember your EHIC renewal before it’s too late.