European Health Insurance Card:  EHIC

What is an EHIC?

Toddler taking medicine from a doctorThe EHIC (formally the E111) is a free card that gives the holder rights to health care within the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland.  If you holiday to a country in the EEA or Switzerland and have an accident or become ill, you'll receive the same healthcare as the nationals receive in whichever country you are in. 

You will receive this healthcare at a lower cost or perhaps for free.  This means that the cover is different in each country and so you MUST still have travel insurance for your family. It also means that you won't necessarily get cover for things you normally receive for free on the NHS. 

How do I apply for an EHIC for my child?

You must apply for the EHIC  before you travel. 
The EHIC is completely free card and is really easy to apply for.  There are websites that will charge you for EHIC cards or providing premium rate telephone help lines.  Don't go to these sites.  The official website is

You must apply for a card for each member of your family including babies and children.

You can get your EHIC card in three ways:
  • • apply on the European Health Insurance Card website,
  • • phone EHIC enquiries on 0845 606 2030 (charged at local rates), or
  • • complete the application form available from some Post Offices

I have an E111. Can I use that?

No.  The EHIC has replaced the E111 which is no longer valid.

Source:, February 2010 © Crown Copyright

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• baby passports: where and how to apply, baby passport photo rules and more

• Travelling with baby to: your guide to buying baby milk, food and nappies abroad, local car seat regulations and finding a doctor abroad.