Austria is probably best-known as a ski destination, but the gorgeous Alpine scenery is making it increasingly popular as a summer destination too. Vienna’s history and architecture makes it popular for short breaks, and its position at the heart of Europe makes Austria a popular stop-off destination for people road tripping or inter-railing through the continent. Whatever your reasons for visiting Austria, chances are that your visit will be without incident. If however you’re unfortunate enough to have an accident or fall ill when you’re in Austria, here’s what you need to know about accessing state healthcare under the EHIC scheme.
Many travellers are aware of something called EHIC, and might even know that having an EHIC allows you to access healthcare on the same basis as residents of countries across Europe. Despite the Brexit process, there have been no changes to the way in which EHIC works, and there will be no changes until the UK fully leaves the European Union. Even then, the UK government may choose to maintain the reciprocal healthcare agreements. There should be announcements in the press or on television nearer the time. But until then, we can carry on using our EHIC when we are travelling in Europe this summer. But beware – you can’t use it everywhere you might think you can.
Even if you’ve applied for an EHIC or have had one for many years, the chances are that you are still a little unclear about what EHIC cover will get you. A survey carried out by an internet price comparison website in summer 2016 found that 70% of travellers misunderstood what their rights were using EHIC should they fall ill overseas. Are you one of them?
Insurance company surveys reveal a huge lack of knowledge about the EHIC system and what it provides. General awareness of EHIC is high, but the nitty gritty details about what is and is not covered tends to confuse people – a recent survey revealed that 70% of UK travellers got it wrong. In one sentence, EHIC will allow you to access state medical treatment on the same basis as a resident of the country they are visiting.
Are you one of the millions of UK travellers who takes their EHIC cover with them when they head off to other European countries for business or pleasure? If you are, you’ll know the huge benefits which having EHIC cover can bring you, and that it allows you to access state healthcare in all the countries which make up the European Economic Area. Unlike passports however, EHIC tends to be the sort of thing which we obtain, then forget about. EHIC doesn’t last forever though, so check whether you need to renew yours before your next trip overseas.
It’s happened to the best of us – you think you’ve packed everything you could possibly need for your holiday only to arrive at your hotel and discover you’ve left your phone charger or favourite t-shirt at home. It’s easily done, and although not having a special item of clothing is annoying, it shouldn’t be enough to spoil your holiday. But if you or one of your kids falls ill on holiday and you realise that your EHIC paperwork is safely in a drawer at home, what should you do?
You’ve probably heard of EHIC cover – the majority of British travellers have. You probably also know that having the EHIC means that you can access state healthcare in all of the countries which make up the European Economic Area, and that this can save you a fortune if you are unfortunate enough to fall ill when on holiday. EHIC isn’t a substitute for a good travel insurance policy which will also cover many of the other things which can go wrong on holiday, but it’s a very useful thing to have, especially for families with children or people with pre-existing medical conditions who find travel insurance expensive. So how do you get one?
If you’re planning a European holiday this summer, you’re probably well into the planning stages or organising flights, choosing a hotel and reading online reviews about your chosen resort. It’s also important to sort out any paperwork you might need, so check your passport hasn’t expired, and make sure you pack your EHIC along with the rest of your documents. EHIC’s not all you need to cover your overseas travel though, so don’t run the risk of travelling uninsured this summer.
According to figures issued by the Office of National Statistics, around 13% of people living in the UK at any given time were born overseas. Whether people have come to work or study, or to join family who are already settled in the UK, this diverse population can sometimes encounter problems when travelling overseas and returning to the UK. They may need to apply for a visa which UK passport holders don’t need, or have more hoops to jump through getting insurance for trips abroad. One of the confusing issues is the EHIC system, and eligibility will depend on a number of factors.
Remember the days when kids could travel overseas without a passport if they were listed on their mum or dad’s passport? Or when the “must-have” document for overseas healthcare was the E111 form, which you picked up from the Post Office? Times change, and we all now know that children of any age need their own passport. Similarly, although you’ll still see the E111 name around, the system changed over a decade ago and the European reciprocal healthcare agreement is now called the European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC. EHIC is available for all members of the family, so if you’re travelling with kids this summer, here’s what you need to know.