Holidaymakers travelling overseas are putting themselves at risk of expensive medical bills if their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) expires, the Department of Health has warned.
At present, 28 million Britons have an EHIC. However, by the end of October, almost 1.5 million EHICs will have expired. The card entitles the holder to free or reduced-cost healthcare in Europe, however 52 per cent of Brits are not aware that it has an expiry date.
With an EHIC, which replaced the E111 form three years ago, holidaymakers in Europe are covered for basic medical care in the event of an illness or accident . Many insurers insist Brits carry their EHIC as part of the policy, so travel insurance is not a replacement for an EHIC and in some instances cover could be at risk without having one.
Paul Siddell, overseas healthcare programme manager at the Department of Health, said: “Many Brits are putting themselves at unnecessary risk by not checking their EHIC expiry date. If you’re travelling in Europe it’s vital that you carry an EHIC, as well as comprehensive travel insurance .