New rules agreed by the UK and European Union will ensure that Brits can continue to access emergency and medical care when travelling to the EU.
There were concerns that Brits would be forced to pay for medical treatment when travelling in countries such as France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Holland once the UK left the EU and the European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) scheme expired.
However talks between the UK and the EU have ensured that healthcare will continue when travelling in the EU including medically necessary treatment for a pre-existing or chronic condition.
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The agreement with the EU means EHIC will be phased out and replaced by the UK’s new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
The new GHIC card is free to obtain from the new GHIC website and people should apply at least two weeks before they plan to travel to ensure their card arrives on time.
Current European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are valid as long as they are in date and people can continue to use these when travelling to the EU.
Minister for Health Edward Argar said: “Our deal with the EU ensures the right for our citizens to access necessary healthcare on their holidays and travels to countries in the EU will continue.
“The GHIC is a key element of the UK’s future relationship with the EU and will provide certainty and security for all UK residents.”
The government always advises that anyone travelling overseas, whether to the EU or elsewhere in the world, should take out comprehensive travel insurance.