Martin Lewis warns Brits to get vital travel card that gets you cheap healthcare

Anyone looking to book a holiday for 2023 is likely tracking down the best deals, looking up flights and scouring the Internet for destinations.

Handily, TripAdvisor has released its top Traveller’s Choice holiday hotspot winners for this year – from Cuba to Paris. Plus, Ryanair is selling off flights in the warmer months from as little as £13.99.

However, it’s always important to check any travel warnings and keep up-to-date on advice before booking a holiday.

READ MORE: Martin Lewis issues vital travel warning to follow before booking 2023 holidays

After all, nobody wants to end up out-of-pocket if something goes wrong.

Earlier today, the UK government wanted Brits to avoid certain parts of Turkey.

While Martin Lewis advised everyone to get their travel insurance sorted before they book and pay for any trips.

However, the Money Saving Expert founder has also issued an additional piece of travel advice which could save your hide if the worst was to happen while abroad.

Martin spoke on The Martin Lewis Money Show Live on Tuesday and said: “If you're going to the EU, ensure you've got a valid European Health Insurance Card [EHIC] or Global Health Insurance Card [GHIC].

“What these do, is they entitle you to treatment in a state-run EU hospital or GP at the same price as a local – free for them, free for you.”

Martin added that five million European Health Insurance Cards – that were issued before Brexit – will go past their expiry date this year.

The GHIC is the replacement for these cards and still allow you to access medical care at GPs and hospitals in EU countries like France, Spain and Germany for the same cost as the residents.

Martin noted that you should never pay for a GHIC card online as they’re free to all UK citizens.

If you do get a GHIC card you should still get travel insurance for your holidays – this is absolutely vital!

The GHIC covers access to medical treatment in state-run hospitals and in some countries, these still come with fairly high fees for treatment.

Travel insurance will cover these fees minus your excess and will have the added benefit of covering cancellation, delay, repatriation, baggage loss and theft.

What is a GHIC/EHIC?

A GHIC and an EHIC are essentially the same things but with different names. It changed once the UK left the European Union as part of Brexit, reports ChronicleLive.

A GHIC entitles the holder to access free or discounted medical treatment in all EU countries and Switzerland.

That means if a local resident gets free medical treatment then you do too – but if they pay, you pay the same rates.

How to apply for a new GHIC

If your existing EHIC has expired or is due to apply, you canapply for a free GHIC via the official NHS website .

You must be over 16 to apply for the card, however, those under the age of 16 can be added to their parent or guardian’s application.

All you need to apply is your name, date of birth and national insurance number.

Beware of scam websites that will ask for a fee or any bank details – always use the official NHS website and never hand over any money.


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