The UK no longer issues European Health Insurance Cards – EHIC, previously and still commonly referred to as E-111 – to British citizens living in the UK, and has replaced this with the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). However, the EHIC does still exist and is applicable for some people, causing confusion in understanding the new system, in place since 1 January 2021.
The Ski Club has provided this breakdown of reciprocal healthcare policies available in the UK and Europe, which act as a companion to but not a replacement for travel insurance. The new GHIC is also valid in some countries outside of Europe.
If you are a UK resident and possess an EHIC issued prior to 1 January 2021, this can be used as previously until it expires. Once this card expires (or up to six months prior to expiry) you can apply for one of the following two cards:
There are some changes to the availability of healthcare under the UK GHIC, as well as an expansion of the service to non-EU countries.
To apply for a new GHIC or EHIC, please head to the NHS website here.
The Global Health Insurance Card was rolled out from 1 January 2021, and is available for UK residents (including British citizens and those with leave to remain). It entitles the bearer to healthcare under a reciprocal healthcare agreement in the following states:
Note that the GHIC does not entitle the bearer to healthcare in Norway – instead, a British passport may be presented to access the same healthcare entitlement. There is no entitlement to reciprocal healthcare in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City.
Please be aware that healthcare provided under these arrangements may vary depending on the state you are in. The GHIC is not a suitable substitute for travel insurance, especially when undertaking activities such as skiing, as it only covers “normal” healthcare, and will not cover things like rescue from the slopes or repatriation home.
EU citizens living in the UK may continue to access reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the EU under the EU-wide EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). From 1 January 2021, new EHIC cards are only issued in the UK to EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic or Liechtenstein citizens resident in the UK before 1 January 2021 and who have achieved Pre-Settled Status under the terms of the UK’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union.
To apply for a new GHIC or EHIC, please follow the link below to the NHS website. This can be done up to six months prior to the expiration of your current GHIC or EHIC.