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What Is a GHIC Card?

If you're a UK resident, you might have heard of the GHIC card or the Global Health Insurance Card. The GHIC is a new card that has replaced the old EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card.

In this blog post, we'll explain the card in more detail, what it covers, and how to apply for one.

Hiking the Laugavegur trail in Iceland. UK residents should consider getting the GHIC card before traveling to Iceland. (photo: Romain Verkindt)
Hiking Laugavegur trail in Iceland (photo: Romain Verkindt)


What Is the GHIC Card?

The GHIC card is a new card that UK residents can use when they travel within the European Union (EU) and other countries like Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

The card represents an agreement between the UK government and the countries in the EU and other associated countries that provide free or reduced-cost healthcare for visitors.

The Global Health Insurance Card is a simple way for UK residents to access medical care while traveling or living abroad.

What Does the Global Health Insurance Card Cover?

The card covers most necessary medical treatments and procedures that are needed while visiting a country within the EU.

This includes treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, emergency care, maternity care, and routine medical care.

It's important to note that the GHIC card does not cover private medical care, so if you're traveling for a medical procedure or for a medical issue that requires private care, you will need to purchase private insurance.

The Global Health Insurance Card also doesn't cover repatriation costs, meaning that if you become too ill or injured to continue your trip, you must pay for your own transportation home.

Additionally, if you're traveling to a country for the specific purpose of receiving medical care, the card may not cover the cost of your treatment.

How Do You Apply for a Card?

Applying for a GHIC card is a simple process. You can apply for the card online through the NHS website.

You'll need to provide some basic information, like your name, address, date of birth, and NHS number.

You'll also need to upload a photograph of yourself, and you may need to provide additional documentation to prove your identity.

Once your application is processed, your card will be sent to you in the mail. It's important to note that the Global Health Insurance Card is free to UK residents. 

When Should You Apply for a GHIC Card?

It's recommended that you apply for a GHIC card at least two weeks before you plan to travel.

This will give you plenty of time to receive your card in the mail and ensure you're covered while traveling.

EHIC cards ceased production in 2021 and were only valid for two years, which means if you have an EHIC card, it will now be out of date, so taking the time to apply in plenty of time before your holiday is essential. 

The GHIC card is essential for UK residents who travel to countries within the EU or other associated countries.

It provides free or reduced-cost healthcare for necessary medical treatments and procedures. Applying for a GHIC card is a simple process that can be done online, and it's free for UK residents.

Remember to apply for your GHIC card at least two weeks before you travel to ensure you're covered while abroad.


This story is published in partnership with GHIC Application UK.

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