how to apply for your GHIC – a guide to getting post-Brexit EHIC replacement coverage

Martin Lewis says get travel insurance as soon as you book

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Since Brexit rules came into force at the beginning of 2021, Britons have experienced some changes when travelling to the European Union. One major change is the loss of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which has since been replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

Although the GHIC is not a substitution for regular travel insurance, which all Britons should purchase regardless of where they are jetting off to, the GHIC is an important entitlement everyone should make use of.

According to the NHS: “For most people, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) replaces the existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for new applications.” explains: “A GHIC lets you get medically necessary state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.

“If your EHIC is still in date, you do not need to apply for a new GHIC.

“They’re both valid if you’re travelling to an EU country or, if you’re eligible, in Switzerland.”

If you do not have an in-date EHIC and have not yet applied for a GHIC, it is well worth making time to get one.

This is especially true if you are due to travel to an EU country in the coming months.

GHICs are free to apply for, although some websites will change a fee to help navigate the application process.

This fee is largely unnecessary though.

There is no deadline to apply for a GHIC. You can apply for a new card up to six months before your current card expires.

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A guide to applying for your GHIC

You can apply for a GHIC on the NHS website here. [link]

Before you start the application process, you will need your National Insurance number (NI) to hand, as well as the NI numbers of any other people you are applying for who are over the age of 16.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also be asked for your NHS number.

To begin, select the service you would like to use. This covers either an “application for healthcare cover abroad” or to “replace a lost, stolen or damaged card”.

When applying for a new GHIC, you must show whether you like in the UK, the EU, EEA or Switzerland, or another country.

You will then be asked whether you have healthcare cover from another country besides the UK, such as having an S1, E121, E106 or E109.

The NHS will ask if you were “ordinarily resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020”.

Applicants must then share information on their nationality and whether they are studying abroad.

You will then need to input your first and last name, date of birth, home address and specify any plans to move abroad.

The NHS application process will request your NI number, your email address and a contact phone number.

Finally, you will be asked whether you wish to submit an additional application for someone else, for example, your partner or child.

Before submitting your application, you will be given the option to look over your answers.

In some cases, GHIC may require additional information, such as proof of residency in the form of personal documents.

They will contact you directly if this is the case.

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