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EHIC - European Health Insurance Card

Learn about the EHIC and apply or renew now

Image of an EHIC

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006.

Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland. For more information about what is covered in each country see our country-by-country guide.

You can apply for a free EHIC online.

An EHIC renewal or application is entirely free of charge. However, other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them.

If you're having difficulties with the online application form, you want to update your personal details or  replace a lost or stolen card, call the automated EHIC application service on 0300 3301350.  

If you have any questions about the European Health Insurance Card then the section below may provide the answers. However, if you still have further questions then you should contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999. If calling from abroad ring 00 44 191 218 1999.

Is there a charge for an EHIC?

You can apply for the card free of charge via the official EHIC online application form. Other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them.

I have travel insurance, why do I need an EHIC?

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one. For more information read our advice on travel insurance.

Where can I use the EHIC?

The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The EEA is a free trade zone between countries of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The regulations on access to healthcare in the EEA also apply in Switzerland.

For more information about what is covered in each country, see our country-by-country guide.

Who can apply for an EHIC?

Any person who is ordinarily resident in the UK, and is of British, other EU/EEA or Swiss nationality, is eligible for an EHIC. You can apply online and free of charge via the official EHIC application form.

If your nationality is not one of those mentioned above you’ll have to provide evidence that you are ordinarily resident in the UK. Proof of entitlement could be your visa, a letter from the Home Office, a letter from your employer or an approved A1, S1, E101, E106 or E109 form. If you live abroad but receive a UK state pension or long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to a UK-issued EHIC - see 'I live abroad. Can I have a UK-issued EHIC?' below. You cannot apply online.

Complete the EHIC application form (PDF, 122kb) and post it to:

NHS Business Services Authority
European Health Insurance Card
EHIC applications
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6SN

For more information about what ordinarily resident means, visit the HM Revenue & Customs website.

You must be over 16 years of age in order to apply yourself.

Residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible.

How do I apply for an EHIC?

Applying for an EHIC is free of charge. You can apply for your EHIC online, however, other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them.

You can also apply by phoning the automated service on 0300 3301350 or you can download an application form (PDF, 122kb) and return it to the NHS Business Services Authority, which processes all applications.

NHS Business Services Authority
European Health Insurance Card
EHIC applications
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6SN

Note: You cannot use this application form if you live outside the UK. Residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible for an EHIC.

You can apply for yourself or on behalf of your partner and any dependent children in full-time education under the age of 19. If you are under 16 a parent or guardian will need to apply for you. Boarding school teaching staff can apply on behalf of any children in their care.

Each person you apply for will need to give their:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland)

However, temporary National Insurance numbers are not valid. A temporary National Insurance number uses the prefix 'TN', the date of birth and M or F to denote gender (for example TN131160M). These are no longer accepted and cannot be used to apply for an EHIC.

Your card will normally arrive within seven days if you apply using the official process.

How do I apply for an EHIC if I am not a UK or EEA citizen?

If you are not of British, EEA or Swiss nationality, you’ll have to provide evidence that you are ordinarily resident in the UK. Proof of entitlement could be your visa, a letter from the Home Office, a letter from your employer or an approved A1, S1, E101, E106 or E109 form.

You cannot apply online. Instead, you’ll have to complete an application form (PDF, 122Kb) and post it to: 

NHS Business Services Authority
European Health Insurance Card
EHIC applications
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6SN

For more information about what ordinarily resident means, visit the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Will my partner and children need separate cards?

Yes. Every family member requires a card.

How do I get an EHIC for my child?

You should apply for an EHIC in your name and include your child as your dependant. You will each receive your own EHIC. You can apply for the card free of charge on the official EHIC online application route. Other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them. Alternatively, you can apply by calling 0300 3301350.

I already have an EHIC. Can I add an additional family member?

You can apply for the card free of charge on the official EHIC online application route. Other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them. You must enter your own details first and apply for any additional cards when prompted. Alternatively, you can apply by calling 0300 3301350. 

What is covered by the EHIC?

Each country’s healthcare system is slightly different. Therefore, your EHIC might not cover everything that would be free on the NHS. However, you should be able to get the same treatment as a resident of the country you're visiting.

In some countries, you may have to pay a patient contribution, also known as a co-payment. See our county-by-country guide for more information.

You may be able to get a refund for these payments when you're back in the UK if you could not do so in the country where you were treated. 

However, EHIC rule changes mean you will no longer be able to claim refunds for these patient contributions (co-payments) in the UK for treatment received after July 1 2014.

  • The EHIC will cover any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, for example because of either illness or an accident. (In an emergency you can dial the European emergency number 112 from any telephone or mobile phone).
  • The card gives access to reduced-cost or free medical treatment from state healthcare providers.
  • It includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition that becomes necessary during your visit.
  • It includes routine maternity care (not only because of illness or accident), as long as you're not going abroad to give birth. However, where the birth happens unexpectedly, the card will cover the cost of all medical treatment for mother and baby that is linked to the birth.
  • The card covers the provision of oxygen and kidney dialysis. You will have to arrange and pre-book these treatments before you go on holiday. You can ask your GP or hospital for advice, but make sure you are not booked with a private healthcare provider as these are not covered by the EHIC.
  • The card also covers routine medical care for people with pre-existing conditions that need monitoring.

What isn’t covered by the EHIC?

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one.

The EHIC will not cover your medical expenses if you are going abroad specifically to have treatment (including giving birth). Find out more about planned treatment abroad.

You may not be able to use the card in some parts of the EEA as state-provided healthcare may not be available.

How long is the EHIC valid for?

The EHIC is valid for up to five years. Check that your EHIC is still valid before you travel. Renewing your card is free. You can renew an EHIC up to six months before the expiry date. However, any time left on the card will not be added to your new card. Renew your EHIC and go abroad knowing you are more prepared. 

EHIC renewal: how is it done?

Check that your EHIC is still valid before you travel. An EHIC renewal is free and you can do it online if none of your personal details have changed.

If you need to amend your personal details then you can only renew your card if you have your PIN, which is provided on your EHIC card. Otherwise, you should call the automated EHIC application service on 0300 3301350. If you are unsure whether you have provided all information about changes, please contact the enquiry line on 0300 3301350.

You can renew an EHIC up to six months before the expiry date. However, any time left on the card will not be added to your new card.

Renew your EHIC and go abroad knowing you are more prepared.

What is the PIN used for and where can I find it?

The PIN (personal identification number) is printed on the EHIC itself. The PIN begins with 'UK' (for example UK123456), and is found on the same line as the date of birth.

You’ll need the PIN when you want to renew your EHIC and also have to make changes to your personal details such as your name and address.

It is a good reference number to have at hand and makes it easier for the EHIC team to find your details on the system.

I don't have my PIN. Can I still renew my EHIC online?

If some of your details have changed since your card was issued you may not be able to renew your card online without your PIN. Please read the following guidance:

None of my details have changed

You can renew your card online. Please enter all of your details without the PIN.

My name has changed

You cannot renew online. Please contact our application line on 0300 3301350 to renew your card. (You can renew online if you have your PIN).

My address has changed

If none of your other details have changed, or if you have previously informed us of your change of address, you can renew online. Enter your new address in the address field. Your renewed card(s) will be sent to this address.

If you are unsure whether you have informed us of any changes, or if there have been any other changes to your details, please contact our enquiry line on 0300 3301350.

Can I renew my EHIC online although my family's cards have not yet expired?

Yes. Please enter details of all members of the family, including those who still have valid cards. This will ensure that details of all members of the family remain linked. A warning message will be displayed for those whose cards cannot be renewed and only those cards that have expired or are due to expire will be renewed this time. 

Why do I have to enter my details again to renew my card?

In order to ensure that your personal details are kept completely secure, and to ensure that the information we hold is accurate, we ask that you complete the application in full each time you renew your card.

Why do I have to provide my National Insurance or NHS number?

In general, to be eligible for an EHIC from the UK you must be resident in the UK. Providing an NI or NHS number helps to prove that you are entitled to hold an EHIC.

This number is not printed on the card because of EEA regulations regarding the format of the card.

What happens if my card is lost or stolen?

If you need to replace a lost EHIC, call 0300 3301350. Alternatively, you can email nhsbsa.ehicenquiries@nhs.net or write to EHIC Enquiries, PO Box 1114, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 2TL providing your full name, UK address, date of birth and, if known, your EHIC Personal Identification Number (PIN).

If your EHIC is lost or stolen while you are abroad, you or someone on your behalf should apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). This will give you the same cover as an EHIC until you return home. To apply, call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 00 44 191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday, 8am–5pm). It's a good idea to save this number in your phone.

To get a PRC, you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland).

How can I change my personal details?

If you need to update your personal details because you’ve changed your name or moved house, then you should inform the EHIC team, who will record the new information and, where appropriate, issue a new card. Call the EHIC enquiries team on 0300 3301350. Alternatively, you can email nhsbsa.ehicenquiries@nhs.net or write to EHIC Enquiries, PO Box 1114, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 2TL providing your full name, UK address, date of birth and, if known, your EHIC personal identification number (PIN).

How do I claim a refund?

Some European health systems expect you to pay your bill when you are treated and then claim a refund using your EHIC. Try to apply for your refund before you return home. Find out how to do this in the country-by-country guide.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary). You or your insurance company may need them if you're applying for a refund or reimbursement.

However, EHIC rule changes mean you will no longer be able to claim refunds for patient contributions (co-payments) in the UK for treatment received after July 1 2014.

I live abroad. Can I have a UK-issued EHIC?

The NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. Therefore, once you have moved permanently away from the UK you are no longer entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules.

However, if you're receiving a UK state pension or long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for form S1 (or an E121 if you are moving to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland), which you need to present to the health authorities in your new country of residence. You will then be treated on the same basis as a resident of that country.
To apply for your S1 or E121 contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or The Pension Service.

You cannot apply online for your UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you live abroad. You must apply by post using form EHICE, which should be sent to you automatically with your S1 or E121. If you haven’t received an EHICE application, please contact the relevant organization.

  • If you have moved abroad and are, a UK state pensioner or in receipt of a UK benefit, contact The Pension Service on  00 44 191 218 7777 
  • If you have not received the EHICE application form, contact Overseas Health Care Team on 00 44 191 218 1999

Read more information about moving abroad.

I have had my E111 for several years. Can I still use it?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006. All E111s are now invalid. You’ll need a valid EHIC, which you can apply for online and free of charge. 

Other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them. Alternatively, you can apply by calling 0300 3301350.

Am I covered abroad even if I do not have my card with me?

Yes. You are covered for travel from the date of application (if you made your application via our telephone application line or online).

If you travel and you do not have your card with you, and treatment becomes medically necessary during your visit, you may be issued with a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to prove your entitlement to the EHIC. This will be sent directly to the place of treatment.

To apply, call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 00 44 191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday, 8am–5pm). It's a good idea to save this number in your phone.

To get a PRC, you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland).

Comments

The 134 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Editor NHS Choices said on 19 August 2014

If you want answers about the EHIC, join the EHIC Facebook page where the NHS Business Services Authority will respond to EHIC questions Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm; https://www.facebook.com/NHSBSAEuropeanHealthInsuranceCard

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andy1000 said on 09 August 2014

I too have just been duped by europeanhealthcard.org.com for £23.50. I have phoned NHS about it and they have told me that my card renewal has been processed. I have deep concerns about providing my details to this company is bank and nabs details and I have been told to contact my bank to try and get refund on my payment to then or possible advice about renewal of my debit card details.
This company should be reported to OFT and watchdog and I do not understand why NHS are accepting any orders from them

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Mary21 said on 07 August 2014

I have also made the mistake of replacing my EHIC through a paid for web site. Please could I suggest that the official (free) web site address is printed on the back of the card. This is the first place I looked when wanting to replace it.

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someoneelse2 said on 05 August 2014

No wonder people get scammed, I've been trying to click on this genuine NHS the link for the last few days, and as per normal:-

HTTP Status 500
Component IHS
Requested URI /Internet/startApplication.do

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User892123 said on 31 July 2014

Hi All, I too have just fallen for europeanhealthcard.org.uk and am £23.50 lighter. They do actually describe their service and costs if you bother to read it (which I, like 1000's of others did not do!) so I guess that technically the may be within the law. However, Advertising Standards and the OFT need to know that this operation is neither transparent nor fair, so please everyone, let them know. Money back? No, I don't think so! But I for one will definitely be going for a refund...and costs, for time wasting. Anyway caveat emptor, and I am off to write to OFT, ASA, MP, and anyone else I can think of, enclosing full documentation of this costly deceipt.

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jdeng said on 20 July 2014

My wife recently became another victim of this site:

www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk

With so many people complaints about this kind of entirely unnecessary copycats preying on next victims, I strongly believe NHS, the sites' advert providers [Google , Yahoo] and fair trading watchdogs should take join actions.

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User888405 said on 15 July 2014

Another caught out by www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk

Yet another shambles that this continues

Can't be bothered

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qxpjx said on 25 June 2014

Exactly what personal information am I expected to consent to being shared? anything you feel like from my medical history?

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YamunaGurung said on 24 June 2014

When do I get my EHIC card after I have posted it or applied for it online?

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Candywetherell said on 14 June 2014

I've just read that the nhs is a residence based healthcare system. My entire working life has been spent in Britain paying into the system. I still pay UK income tax on my pension. Why do I no longer have the rights that I have, and continue to, pay for?
I live in France but still am, and shall remain, a UK citizen.
Will rights to a UK pension be that next national insurance benefit to go down this route?

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trainmaster said on 06 June 2014

I had my card stolen at Palma airport. In trying to replace it, I followed all the instructions on the website- giving my date of birth and name in detail, only to be told at the end, several times, that the system is down. Why cant they anitcipate this by saying at the start that the system is unavailable rather than make me go through 5 minutes of voice recognition ( which doesnt always work!). Also, why do they mix voice recognition and key pad responses??

CH

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John McDonald said on 22 May 2014

Scam alert.

www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk

"The replacement service for the old e111 form."

Is a rip off site that charges the unsuspecting (me) £25 for what is a free service.

Really feel a bit hard done by that search engines (Google in this case) and the NHS don't do more to alert people to these ugly scams.

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dundrone said on 12 May 2014



The NHS link does work well enough

http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcareabroad/ehic/pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

if you find it first but...

As sent to NHS choice -Replacing an E111 - 12 MAY 2014



My wife on the day before travelling found that her E111 card ran out in March 2009 and was misguided by an opportunist website in a now long standing scam.



Why does the card run out after five years as none of the information carried on it changes during ones lifetime?



Why are all legitimate users of the NHS not issued with an ID card that would also suffice for E111 purpose including on chip essential short form patient medical records information on the holder that the NHS has so much difficulty getting to the holder patient's location at the time of diagnosis or treatment?



Why is the NHS the second website listed on Google search after first listed http://www.e111.eu/ which charges for advice on renewing an E111 and why has the NHS failed to resolve this long standing issue with Google?



What action is the NHS taking to stop misguidance, as the first line on any guidance should be to use the correct website and to advise otherwise, regarding information on a government website should be an offence?

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Boyoung said on 12 May 2014

My daughter will be travelling in Spain July and her EHIC was expired last year. How can she get a new one?
Thanks

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jarbo said on 02 May 2014

Reference EHIC usage in France.
Visit France @ 5 months a year.
Have a current EHIC card.
Retired 65 years of age.
Will I require additional health insurance??

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CountryLady2 said on 27 April 2014

Have just successfully applied for new EHIC card (old E111 card expired years ago) via this free website. Points I would add are:
1. Don't understand why people blame Google for leading them to 'Pay for EHIC' sites. As for anything Googled - they have to 'jumble' any outcomes of searches entered - just make sure the outcome you click on is either .gov or NHS if looking for EHIC. As with many things Googled - you just have to beware what sites you click on in case it's leading you to an advert or a 'pay-for-service' link.
2. Received immediate email confirming my free EHIC card application successful and it'll be here within 10 days. Printed this email off.
3. Travelling on Thursday, but as only remembered I'd need my EHIC on Sunday before (& therefore couldn't ring EHIC application no. as that's Mon-Fri) so completed form online Sunday.
4. When filling in online form put in NHS no. with no spaces between.
5. Many people query and worry how to travel if EHIC card not received before you have to travel (as most likely with me!) - just look at List of Questions above here - click on the last one "Am I covered abroad even if I do not have my card with me?" - it tells you what to do + take the phone no. with you!
Hope this helps :) - Happy travelling.

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lesiure21 said on 27 March 2014

I applied EHIC card twice by post. but one is not found and the other is not delivered yet. the latter is also passed 13 days. Royal mail said to me to wait 2 days more and then report 'lost'. the problem is that my daughter is going to Paris on 9/04 so she needs her EHIC card. now i am afraid of sending application form by post again. How can i get my daughter's EHIC card before her leaving.

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Ria54 said on 26 March 2014

I have been trying to renew my EHIC card and my husbands, it will not accept our NI numbers? this is very frustrating

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Tricky80 said on 09 February 2014

I already have a EHIC but wanted to add my toddler to enable him to have his own card. I applied by putting my own details into the online system as the main applicant but it kept telling me I couldn't apply as I already had a card. I knew this but only wanted to obtain one for my son. The information on the website seems to suggest that it is possible but it appears that this is not the case. I ended calling the automated service and this seemed to work fine.

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Tricky80 said on 09 February 2014

I already have a EHIC but wanted to add my toddler to enable him to have his own card. I applied by putting my own details into the online system as the main applicant but it kept telling me I couldn't apply as I already had a card. I knew this but only wanted to obtain one for my son. The information on the website seems to suggest that it is possible but it appears that this is not the case. I ended calling the automated service and this seemed to work fine.

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Silly man said on 06 February 2014

Can't believe I was so stupid ! Was in such a hurry as going away in a week, forgot that 5 years ago when I got my card it was free, just thought that was a new charge. Anyway, realised
10 minutes later that I had just thrown £24.99 down the drain and e.mailed them to say don't proceed as have just applied for free on NHS site.Was told they had already processed and that I had no right to cancel, said I would stop payment with Amex and they responded that if I do so they will sue me for breach of contract and that will end up costing me thousands of pounds.
Scared me so am paying up, somebody has to stop these people ! They can't be allowed to get away with this, it was the same company, www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk. I am very worried now that these people have my credit card details and NHS number !

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Cruisingagain said on 01 February 2014

Hi there, the scammers have earned another 'Free' £23.50 from me. I am computer savy, do not suffer from Dementia and consider myself 'normal' (whatever that is). Another duped fool who should have read the smallprint on page 334 of the website. When is someone going to do something about this issue? I have raised it with my MP. https://www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk/page.php?23 Do not use these people.

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JC49 said on 27 January 2014

Oh dear! I too have been scammed by paying for a fast track EHIC card - process in one working day...yes, right. Still waiting.
My daughter had a valid card but could not find it- travel only a week away - so 'Googled' EHIC and promptly sent off the application fuming that I had to pay. To be fair I should have read ALL the fine print (which I have since) but it never occurred to me there were lots of EHIC sites- I just thought it came straight from the NHS and not via agents. It was only when my daughter commented that others had applied for theirs for free that I investigated further and discovered it to be true. What can I say? The cost is the lesson I learned I guess but my main concern is that another organisation has my daughter's details. Should I worry?

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Sanitas said on 27 January 2014

I applied on line for my wife and myself on 22 Jan, and the cards arrived on 27 Jan - with a weekend in between.

Please be aware that if there is a recorded message saying the 0300 330 1350 service is no longer available, this is wrong. I had to try several times before I did not hear this message, and got through to a person in minutes.

There is also 0845 605 0707 for EHIC applications.

The sole purpose of my phone call was to say thank you for the prompt service I had received.

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allangmiller said on 23 January 2014

I fell for it but was able to get a refund by badgering the card company. I wrote to the OFT and would urge others to do the same. They feel they have done enough, so it needs the weight of opinion to persuade them otherwise. I also contacted my MP about the general principle, both of 'fronting' and zero cooling-off. He shared my concern and wrote to the Secretary of State. The response was that they have taken steps to 'disrupt' mass applications, and to publicise as widely as possible that the card is free, and referred to the (now closed) OFT investigation of 2010. Refusal to accept mass applications at all, the obvious solution, does not seem to be a go-er.

I'm afraid I take ill the several, smug 'serves you right' posts here. "You tripped over a mislaid kerbstone? Serves you right. I stepped right round it. Take responsibility for your own actions"

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ellskitkat said on 09 January 2014

Card ordered in less than 2 minutes no problem as very straight forward. In response to the comments of the NHS/government not being bright enough to charge, maybe people should be bright enough to do a little research and check URL address before continuing. Take responsibility for your own actions and stop blaming others. EHIC card is free of charge, free to apply and the number for phone renewals is an 0300 number.

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One born every minute said on 08 January 2014

I have just renewed my EHIC card for the princely sum of £23.50. Like a mug I fell for the con trick of ordering through an' agent' - the site looked official enough, and although I was surprised at being charged a 'membership fee' assumed that this was another dodge by our caring government to speed up the process of privatisation of the NHS. But no, they're not bright enough to have latched on to this one yet. Yet...I contacted my credit card company in the hope that they could withhold payment but no such luck - I had accepted the scammers terms( I checked back, and I had - moral, ways, but always read the small print) and as I had been provided with a new, genuine, card there were no grounds for withholding payment . What a delightful way to earn a living. Ho Hum, tough luck, sucker.

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User91338 said on 06 January 2014

I've just re-newed my card for both myself and partner - took couple of mins answering either yes or no to a number of questions etc and card will be with us within next 7 days - excellent.

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aardvark800 said on 13 December 2013

For those renewing their card ! on the back of the old card there is a telephone number, 0191 218 1999. do what i did ,for the cost of a few pence for the call i phoned them to renew ! so avoiding any on-line scams,

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perrancott said on 29 October 2013

The answer for those who have been scammed is not to use Google. I use duckduckgo and the NHS Choices link came up first.

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Jeanie 29 said on 26 October 2013

I too have also been ripped off today and had to pay £5 cancellation fee as I quickly discovered that the card is free. I clicked on the first company stating a NHS card and stupidly put in all my card numbers thinking the NHS is now charging for this card. When I looked down at all the companies I realized the free NHS was far down the listings. Why is Trading Standards allowing this to happen. Even if everyone cancels they get £5.00 from each person, what a scam. Prosecute these companies as many people are being ripped off. Unfortunately if you are in a hurry and just click on the first few companies listed you will get scammed. By the time they something about this someone is making thousands out of unsuspecting customers.

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thewalrus said on 23 October 2013

Why does NHS deal with www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk?

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kohima85 said on 21 October 2013

Having received my personal travel insurance online from Barclays for a short trip to Cyprus, I noticed a handy "Don't forget your EHIC Card" reminder at the bottom of the "Retrieve Documents" page, which I followed like a sheep.

Unbelievably, it pointed to some dodgy EHIC "wanabe" website that wants £25 off me for something that should be free. Sad thing is, I was almost ready to get the debit card out thinking that gov cutbacks had introduced some unnecessary charge.

Fair play to Barclays - who changed it to this site immediately (after a quick snot-o-gram).

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dfljfb said on 18 October 2013

I am so cross - I have been scammed on this one too.

This should not be allowed, I am a single mum trying to budget to go away, and this happens, thanks a lot. Why can't the NHS do anything about this.

thanks to www.europeanheathcard.org.uk I am £25 out of pocket for an unnecessary EHIC card, have called their helpline only to be charged a fortune and then get an answer machine, then call the bank at my cost and too late to stop the payment. Thank you so much !!

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Tony D said on 12 October 2013

Does my EHIC cover expenses incurred on a cruise ship

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theonlytyger said on 11 October 2013

Advice if you've just been had by one of these ehic charging parasites:

1. Immediately use the NHS EHIC phone service to order/renew your card yourself. After talking to the friendly robot, stay on the line to speak to a human being. Ask them to confirm your telephone order successful and note the exact way your name appears on the card.
2. email the rip-off merchant immediately afterwards explaining you made the order in error, that you have in fact ordered your card personally and ask for a cancellation and refund. Include the exact name as on the card otherwise they will be able to order anyway. Apparently the EHIC system allows a card to be ordered for, say Fred Bloggs even if a card for Fred W Bloggs exists with the same date of birth and NI number - incredible!
3. Call your bank or credit card firm and ask for details of how to dispute the payment on the grounds of non receipt of goods or service (your only hope of a refund if the firm doesn't cough up; if you were quick enough to order yourself and ask for a cancellation and refund they won't be able to provide the service).
4. Complain to Trading Standards This is vital, as the OFT concluded (after an investigation) in November 2012 that "potential for significant consumer detriment is low... But It may reconsider its decision in the future if it receives further evidence of suspected infringements" (see post below) Give them the evidence. I strongly urge everyone who has posted and anyone else who's been caught to complain effectively. (Complaint to Trading Standards is a round-about job via Consumers Advice, but please persist!)
PS call me cynical, but do you suppose the NHS get a fee for each card ordered by these parasites?

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User808937 said on 05 October 2013

SCAM WEBSITES for EHIC - Office of Fair Trading http://www.oft.gov.uk Press Release 10.08.2010

The OFT has taken action against 4 online traders who deceptively sold EHICs, 3 have signed formal undertakings not to engage in deceptive selling practices. The websites are: www.ehic.org www.thejwsgroup.com/ehicservice and www.ehic.uk.com.
The website www.ehiconline.com has been suspended by its domain name registrar after concern from the OFT, and www.e111-online.com has ceased trading.
The OFT believe these online traders had breached the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002.
The OFT will now actively monitor the traders' activities and if the undertakings are breached it can take court action, including an enforcement order under the Enterprise Act 2002.
The OFT formed the view that the traders were in breach of the Civil Procedure Rules.
The OFT will continue to monitor the traders who have given the undertakings. If they are breached, the OFT may take further action in court.

Case ref no: CRE/0648 14.07.2011–08.11.2012
The OFT has closed its investigation into websites which charge consumers for processing applications for government services e.g. EHICs, which are available free or at a low cost if obtained directly.
The OFT has concluded that potential for significant consumer detriment is low and there is insufficient evidence of breaches of consumer protection legislation to warrant prioritising formal enforcement action in this instance. It may reconsider its decision in the future if it receives further evidence of suspected infringements, or its prioritisation assessment changes.

Update 05.10.2013 www.ehic.uk.com and www.ehiconline.com are still trading.
Other websites are : www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk/ www.apply-ehic-e111-card.org.uk/ www.ehicdirect.org.uk/ www.nhs-e111-ehic.org.uk/ https://ehicdirect.org.uk www.ehiconline.com www.ehicplus.com

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User808937 said on 04 October 2013

I have been duped by a scammer website! My EHIC card expired on 15.09.2013 and so I requested a replacement via the website www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk/?. They charged me £24.99 for a fast track renewal. It appears that I have been ripped off !!

I had used my debit card so I immediately phoned my bank to cancel the transaction. The bank gave me their authorisation code to give to the supplier for cancellation, but they did advise that cancellation was at the discretion of the supplier.

The scammers website gives the tel. no. 0905 915 0034 at £1.53 per min. but it only has voicemail. So I tried to email them back with the bank authorisation code but I do not hold out much hope for a refund.

Will the card arrive at all? Will it be genuine? I tried to renew my card via this NHS website but got a pop-up message to say that it had already been renewed.

The NHS is a government institution so why can't the government shut down these scammer websites? Does the NHS accept applications from these scammer websites? If so, then why? Does the NHS get a cut from the scam?

I know now that I should have been more careful, I usually am very careful on the internet, but I feel that there should be more protection for the EHIC.

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bwekr44 said on 03 October 2013

I too just been scammed by ehiconline.com. Luckily I stopped at the payment part, but they still have far too much info about me. Strange thing is many of these sites, including the one I used, were banned by the OFT in 2010, and an article on the bbc heralds the end of this pratice. Who has dropped the ball here??

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LMB49 said on 30 September 2013

I am furious. Just received my EHIC card and the letter with it tells me I could have renewed it free after paying £23.50. I went to the website www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad to check and the first website to appear was the one that I ordered my card from. This practise has got to stop. Where is this money going to? Probably the Government! I think this may be one for Twitter!

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bea27 said on 30 September 2013

I have just stupidly left all my husbands details and contact info and query over my E111 card on Yes The Wrong Website Y is it allowed for sites to copy secure sites like this and why has this other site that charges for this service not be closed

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sharon1612 said on 29 September 2013

Cant believe I have been caught too! Hubby said they are free! so I went to a site that said they were free, then right at the end of the application it said that you now have to pay. This should be stopped surely. Wonder if I can cancel the application.................well i'm going to try! I a furious

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Bigkat57 said on 27 September 2013

I too have been duped. I can't believe it. I had no idea I wasn't on the official website to renew EHIC cards and have parted, furiously but not incredulously these days, with £75 for 3 new cards. I can't believe I was so stupid. Why is this allowed? Why is anyone else allowed to make or send out these official cards?? How can it continue happen even though there are loads of furious folk out there? How come Google can't stop these sites? Or heaven forbid even the government??
Anyone have any advice as to who to write to to rattle cages and protect innocent individuals in the future?? Does no one really care? ;(((

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Jules48 said on 24 September 2013

Absolutely furious that I have paid nearly £50 for 2 EHIC because of Google.
There should be a practise in place, that when using the Google search engine, the NHS website is the first to show.
Will be more careful in future, a hard & expensive lesson learnt.

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ladytravel14 said on 19 September 2013

I too looked up EHIC on Google, as my card is soon due for renewal, and linked to the first website listed. I was shocked to see a charge. As the top of the website refers to the EHIC as replacement for E111 it looks legit. Also referral to "now have to charge".

No wonder many people have been duped. As I knew it should be free I went back and linked to NHS Choices.

There are other unscrupulous websites that charge for services that can be accessed free. Is there no way these can be stopped?

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fee1968 said on 05 September 2013

Hello! I too have been duped.
I paid £23 to www.europeanheathcard.org.uk for our cards. I am angry as they were the first site to come up on a Google search when I typed in EHIC. This seems like a perfectly reasonable name for an official website for such a service. I am just hoping that my cards come and am concerned that they have my personal details.
Can anyone reassure me on this? Or should I panic now!

If this is legal, and these companies are just being opportunistic, then the NHS should stop accepting applications from third parties.
How are we supposed to know...unless we already know!!!!

I only discovered this accidentally, when I was looking in to something else, completely unrelated that I thought might be a scam.
Thanks for listening!

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GurdipSingh said on 24 August 2013

I wanted to renew my EHIC cards but was directed to private site rather than official. I had to pay £19.99 when this was free. There should be some control or warning about these unofficial diversions.

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GHunter said on 06 August 2013

I had to phone the helpline as my son is travelling abroad soon and couldn't find his E1 11 card. The person I spoke to was extremely helpful, friendly and efficient. I just wanted to record my thanks to them for such great service.

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NinaMD said on 20 July 2013

I called the helpline today to renew a card and also change incorrect details on existing cards. We go on holiday on Wednesday and we were advised that although the cards may not arrive in time, take the one card that was valid and use this if required as the details of other family members can be verified using the helpline number on the reverse of the card. The guy was really helpful - good customer service received!

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Wild Rover said on 17 July 2013

I just received absolutely brilliant help from the help-line.
I had a variety of things to sort out: renewal of expired cards, addition of new family members and correction of wrong details on an existing card.
The gentleman resolved everything quickly, politely and efficiently.
I felt I had to register on here to record my thanks.
Superb service!

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busygirl said on 15 July 2013

well I just rang to renew my famly cards and to add a new member of the family and it was an absolute doddle!! the automated system could not understand my surname so I was quickly put through to a very, very helpful and efficient lady who updated all our details and advised that I will be in receipt of our new cards in 7-10 working days...happy happy happy.

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Franklin11 said on 05 July 2013

I only just realised my card had expired and I fly out in 2 days. It said it will take up to 10 days for my new card to arrive, so figured I would just print off the email confirmation for now, however the email I received only confirms that they have received my application, not that I have actually renewed and am covered. It's 9pm on a Friday, their call centre is only open 9-5 Mon-Fri which is useless for someone like me who is flying out a day before the call centre opens again! I'm aware I should have looked into this sooner but it's a last minute holiday that I booked yesterday.

Does anyone know how I can check if I'm covered or get some kind of proof to take with me that I've renewed????

I will however add that the online application was very quick and easy. That's the only positive thing I have to say about it all.

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marcinboss58 said on 02 July 2013

do I get any confirm that my card is accepted ? Or I dont get any others e-mails?

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josh22 said on 27 June 2013

This guidance is useless if you want to renew a card for a child when your own is not due for renewal. It's not clear how to do it from the links either. I then tried to ring and after 10 minutes of automated options which didn't fit either I had a message saying the line was closed. So much for "customer service"! This is hardly an unusual situation. Please sort it out.

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watersedge said on 11 June 2013

As I just said it was all very simple - except do remember when entering your NI Number to leave no spaces, enter the two letters, six numbers and final letter without spaces. If you don't the NI Number will be rejected.

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watersedge said on 11 June 2013

Very simple. I renewed my own and my wife's EHIC in a few minutes.

I saw a website that charged £23 plus for this service but it did point out that the EHIC can be obtained free of charge on the NHS site - and it provided a link for you to do that.

The list of "benefits" you get for paying £23 on this commercial site may be worth it for some people - but not for me.

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seasidemax said on 09 June 2013

I found renewing for my child but not renewing for myself was far from obvious. After I had eventually worked out how to do it after several attempts I clicked 'add' and it took me back to the previous page. Does this mean my child's card has been renewed or not? There was nothing to say I had been successful. Now I will need to ring to confirm. A waste of everybody's time.

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Boo1429 said on 08 June 2013

Reading some of the comments and cannot understand why there is negative ones, maybe try going through the website that actually supplies the product instead of sites set up just to take your money. Started renewing on-line, got halfway through last child and page crashed - called number shown on website to see if everything else went through - took nearly 3 mins of automated talk to get to speak with someone (only downside) but was well worth it - great quick efficient service. Was all finished even with the on-line part within 6 mins. Thank you.

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Superflumina said on 01 June 2013

I've been duped by a scam website as well and lost nearly £20. Never happened to me before and I thought I was pretty savvy, as well as over-cautious, when it came to on-line orders. But the site I went through was the first to appear and looked completely plausible. This is nothing more than fraud, and I also ask why the NHS is allowing agencies to do this. They could easily put a stop to it by not accepting applications from agencies, but presumably it suits them not to. I will fight and fight, through lawyers if necessary, until I get my money back, and I suggest all the other people who have defrauded do likewise.

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Heckybill said on 31 May 2013

I've just paid the 19.95 for my husbands card before realising that you can get it free of charge on the nhs site - not happy!! Applied for mine on here. Why is the NHS allowing agencies to do this??? NHS should advertise that it's free for everyone on the choices website.

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bimbom said on 21 May 2013

Scam websites don't be duped!! go to www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/healthcareabroad for the official free site
I went to renew our EHIC yesterday and was grudgingly prepared to pay £19.95 for it. Fortunately I was missing one of our NHS numbers so had to revisit the process this evening.
When I searched google for "EHIC renewal", I saw stephenpt message about being scammed for 19.95 and entered that link. Thanks, Stephen!
It has taken me about 3x as long to post this comment as to renew my EHIC cards but unusually I havefelt strongly enough about this that i have gone through all the hoops.
EHIC, this needs to be sorted out. By definition the NHS is for people who are ill, worried or vulnerable. (It would be nice if it was for well people but hey-ho).
I'm not even remotely techy and barely IT literate but surely you can refuse 3rd party applications from dodgy websites.
For each comment on here, there are probably 1,000 people who have stumped up 20quid and I bet that they are mostly the people who can least afford it.
Ona positive note,the EHIC renewal (and adding a new one)seemed a doddle.
B

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JUSTINCASE1970 said on 20 May 2013

Adding dependant and re-newal for husband.
Used phone number.
Automated system did not understand surname so after 3 attempts at name, put me through quickly to a helpdesk who quickly sorted all of my requirements out.
Very pleased with service.

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Amali said on 26 April 2013

Brilliant Service
Straightforward application on-line. I filled in the form for my husband and I on April 21st and received my card on April 26th. what more can I say, extremely good service. No concerns and now look forward to our holiday!

many thanks!

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duntid3 said on 25 April 2013

I cannot believe how complicated this process is. I've been trying to apply for weeks but due to a bug in the system a card cannot been issued. After several e-mails I'm now being told I have to call and that's the only way I can get a card. Very insensitive as I all ready told them I cannot use the phone due to my being hard of hearing. The NHS is clearly not a caring organisation at all. How about a printed form we could fill in and send off - wouldn't that be easier? I'm now faced with having to go abroad in four weeks time without a card. Let's hope I don't need it.

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seasidesalts said on 23 April 2013

What a straightforward process! Just used online application to add youngest child when the rest of the family already has cards. I entered my details and yes, it said that I already had a card, but, on pressing "continue" I was able to choose whether to add partner details and then child's details. Didn't even need to know their NI number as could use my own. Excellent service.

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Haileyab said on 17 April 2013

Trying to get a card hasn't been easy!! Website keeps timing out so thought I'd try the number, wish I hadn't bothered as still haven't got it sorted. The phone option is an automated service which wasn't that bad considering I'm applying for 2 adults and 2 children, however, I was giving the details of my 2nd child and the automated machine couldn't understand my sons name i was told the office was closed and cut me off. Frustrated as I've been trying now for an hour!

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stevenpt said on 16 April 2013

I have been duped into paying £19.99 for the renewal of my ehic card by a company. I have now found out that I am one of thousands being duped in this way. I am not a stupid person, I was just in a hurry - the only thought I gave to it was that it was one of the latest ways of privatising our NHS. Why is the NHS co-operating with these parasites and allowing them to make applications on people's behalf? It beggars belief.

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Pamela in East Lothian said on 10 April 2013

Just want to say thank you for building such an easy set of webforms to complete to apply for my first EHIC card.

The whole process for me, myself and my daughter took about 3 minutes from start to finish, and I got a message to say we'd get the cards within 10 working days.

I did follow some of the advice above of not putting any spaces into the NI numbers and NHS numbers entered, and all of the forms were accepted on first attempt.

We're going away in 15 working days' time, so if we haven't received the cards by the promised 10 days' time, I'll be calling the 'hotline' to see if they're on their way.

Very happy so far though.
Much better than a trip to the post office.

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TINKS6 said on 22 March 2013

Please can you tell me how long when you have applied for an EHIC card it takes to arrive? I ordered 4 3 weeks ago. In the mean time I applied for two passports for members of my family. The Passports have arrived. These only took aweek. But do i have to wait a certain before ringing up to find out where the EHIC cards are?

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lizzie49 said on 21 March 2013

Brilliant service! Having read many of the comments was worried about getting replacement Ehic cards for me and my partner. But no problem. Filled out separate forms for each of us and the cards turned up today, in less than the promised 10 days. Well done nhs choices - a completely trouble free service which did exactly what it said on the tin.

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vagrantuk said on 17 March 2013

What a wonderful system. The automated telephone system works. You can use it at any time to replace a card. Also it's free, unlike the scam websites that look so authentic, but try and charge. Be aware.
I read here that people have problems with the voice recognition. I can only speak as I find, and that is it worked perfectly for me.

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Sparkles62 said on 16 March 2013

Just to put a more positive side to these comments I have just renewed 4 cards online with no problems whatsoever. It was the same when I originally applied (also online). I'm sure that even 60 odd negative experiences are a drop in the ocean compared to the numbers to be issued. No process is ever completely foolproof.

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Frustrated_user said on 06 March 2013

I am clearly not alone in having problems renewing my families EHIC cards. They expired in 2011 but the system does not recognise this and will not let me replace any of them on-line.
What is being done to overcome these failures? The volume of extra calls to the help-line must be needlessly increasing the costs of running this service.

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User753546 said on 05 March 2013

Tried to renew my EHIC card and my husband's, and to get a new one for our toddler. While I was able to renew mine, the website did not allow me to renew my husband's
(worked when done separately though) nor get the new one for our son (still couldn't find the way to do this one). The website did not recognised their NHS number (which were correct in both cases) Really annoying as I wasted lot of time by trying several times. Poor online service.

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vivienneann said on 15 February 2013

I tried to renew both my and my husbands EHIC cards today and while mine went through without a hitch when trying to do my husband's it said that I had put in an incorrect NI number for him. I hadn't !!! In addition to this when I rried to ring the 0300 number on this website it was " number unobtainable"

Very very frustrating as I now do not know what to do to get my husband's card renewed. There is no point in having incorrect numbers on your website and a website which rejects correct information inputted

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bananaboatbilly said on 08 February 2013

I have 2 EHIC cards in front of me. One for me and one for wife. Both have an expiry date on them of 01/12/2010.
Tonight I have tried ,and failed, to renew them.
My first attempt was to renew mine. Result was a statement " card already exists"
I then tried to renew my wife`s , result
"invalid NI number" despite this number being on her national insurance card, pay slip and hospital correspondence.
What`s the point in having a service like this when it is obviously not able to cope with simple renewals.
I suppose I will now have to call the 0845 number , wait patiently until someone makes the effort to answer, possibly be entertained with some inane music whilst someone checks the relevant information , only to be told ,"you should recieve them in the next few days"
and here`s me thinking this new tecnology was supposed to be simple, easy to use and saved money.
Oh well, back to dealing with humans again, over the phone.

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NHS Feedback Line 10 said on 28 January 2013

I went on to the EHIC web site to apply for the card. I filled everything on line and when I pressed to continue with the application the screen went totally blank, i.e white. I tried to go back and it said that if I went back now I would have to start all over again. I did not want to do that so came out. I have no way of knowing if my application was successful or not.
I rang the NHS Feedback Line and was given a telephone number to ring and hopefully this will be productive

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NHS Feedback Line 10 said on 28 January 2013

I went on to the EHIC web site to apply for the card. I filled everything on line and when I pressed to continue with the application the screen went totally blank, i.e white. I tried to go back and it said that if I went back now I would have to start all over again. I did not want to do that so came out. I have no way of knowing if my application was successful or not.
I rang the NHS Feedback Line and was given a telephone number to ring and hopefully this will be productive

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wood1978 said on 26 January 2013

I am trying to apply for an EHIC card for my son. I already have an EHIC card so when I enter my own details for the main applicants a I am getting the error message "Applicant already exists". Can anyone help?

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JesusM said on 26 January 2013

Hi
we have been recently in Spain on holidays. My daughter has a fall and we went straight to A&E. I have paid 70 eu at the hospital. Is it any way to get the money back in the UK?
Many thanks

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NHS Customer Feedback Line7 said on 24 January 2013

Don't be mislead that the renewal of EICH cards online is a renewal process it requires a fresh application and more details then are contained on your existing card.

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Rick Walker said on 21 January 2013

Try this for a trouble free FREE application on line

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

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A Lab Rat said on 21 January 2013

Seems to be working today without any problems.
I rather rather looking forward to a trip to the post office but technolgy wins in the end!

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Clinchfamily said on 21 January 2013

Managed to renuew my son's and my card online. very easy now that the online form is working. i had trouble on Saturday, but decided to leave it a couple of days. So pleased I checked our cards and have time before we travel to allow for the new ones to be posted to us...... Great free service. Thank you.

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zenit_b said on 21 January 2013

Website is back up. I have managed to submit my EHIC application via the Internet.

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ScorpioWoman said on 20 January 2013

Have tried to renew my card today,but both the on-line form and the appropriate telephone number are not functioning. Could someone please explain what we are supposed to do?

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A Lab Rat said on 20 January 2013

I have tried 4 different browsers and two telephone numbers.
All browsers report the same error messages indicated in the rest of todays comments. The numbers are automated and take 12 minutes to tell me they are closed. The feedback line was meant to be open on weekends until 16:00 hours but never answered the line. Maybe they meant Saturday only instead of weekends :(.

So all in all this has been the waste of nearly an hour to apply for a EHIC card, almost enough to make you sign onto one of those rip off sites that chanrge you £17.99 to apply for a card. At least they can have this hassle to make the applciation!

Maybe I'll just resort to making the application at the post office where a human being can be found to discuss such things with.

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sbu said on 20 January 2013

Yes, I am also having problems with the application, I get a white screen with error messages typed at the top of the screen

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masonj1 said on 20 January 2013

trying to renew EHIC online ... I get the following error message:

Error 500: ; nested exception is: uk.org.ppa.common.error.ChainedRuntimeException: javax.transaction.TransactionRolledbackException: ; nested exception is: javax.ejb.EJBException: Unable to get connection from EHIC DataSource : Got minus one from a read callDSRA0010E: SQL State = 00000, Error Code = 0; nested exception is: uk.org.ppa.dataaccess.common.error.DAOTechnicalException: Unable to get connection from EHIC DataSource : Got minus one from a read callDSRA0010E: SQL State = 00000, Error Code = 0

Please help!

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Wozzer01 said on 20 January 2013

Hi ROB M P

Having the same problems as you are. Tried on two different browsers and like you say after entering personal details and click on continue get an error page. Not great!!

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ROB M P said on 19 January 2013

Having problems with the website - able to fill in the first page of personal details but when I press 'continue' to go on to the second page, an error page comes up.

Is anyone else getting the same problem?

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moscam said on 14 January 2013

as a uk pensioner living in france for the last 10 years but only retired in april last year my ehic has to be issued by the uk.
on receipt of my s1 form on retirement i forwarded it to the french health authorities who continued my health cover immediately and sent the copy of the s1 back to newcastle
8 months later i am still unable to get an application form from newcastle for my ehic as they say they havent recieved the s1 in the appropriate office
yes i have an emergency number i can call for the appropriate confirmation that i have health cover but that is hardly likely to help too much if ive had a heart attack and im i n a small hospital in the spanish countryside, come on newcastle get it sorted please

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hacids said on 07 January 2013

I had to add a child last year and the site said it was £19.95 or the cost of a phone call, so I called. The man on the other end did not even know that I was calling about a EHIC card until about 5 minutes into the conversation, he thought I was calling about some other service, so looking back I now know it was not the official site.

The other day I was looking into renewing the whole family's cards and thought they must of changed the policy again as it said you could get a family of 6 for £12.00.

Again this was not the official site as I have just renewed myself my husband and our four children for free on the official site.

If you are having problems with incorrect NI or NHS numbers, do not leave any spaces in between as they are printed on your NI card or NHS number as when I did this it said invalid, I tried again with out spaces and it worked.

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User736578 said on 02 January 2013

Have just spent 30 frustrating minutes with an operator. She was speaking to her manager and when I asked to speak to her manager , I was told she was in a meeting. I said I would wait but I was told the call would be terminated. Was offered a call back - but this never happens. beware. You are told it would be quicker to make a clam whilst still abroad. I have made a claim in France at the local CPAM office for 1071 euros for an ambulance bill. Cpam have only given me 698 euros. EHIC have told me I can not claim the difference from there as I should have claimed from them - so after following EHIC's advice, I am 376 euros out of pocket. MP next!

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SANDY103 said on 28 November 2012

www.nhs-health.com/

**BEWARE**

This site looks very official but is not. It wasn't until I entered everything and came to the part where I was asked for a payment of £19,95 that I became suspicious. I stopped and checked to see if it was no longer free and that's when I realised it was a rogue site.

I am, now, very concerned that this site has my personal details including my N.I. number.

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ClumsyRumble said on 22 November 2012

***DONT BE CONNED BY OTHER WEBSITES THAT CHARGED ***

This card and process is entirely FREE, I previously had a card in my maiden name that had expired, I called the telephone number listed in the FAQ's above and started the automated service which lasted approx 2 minutes, I was then put through to a very helpful advisor that updated my personal details and also completed the process for a new card for my husband.
Took all of 5 minutes and the cards will be here within 7-10 days. SORTED.

Don't be conned, there isn't anything worth paying for on these websites that offer a "service" all the NHS company need is your existing card number or if you are applying for a new one your NHS number OR your NI number. THATS IT! they then confirm the details and you are finished. It was quick and easy.

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Margaret26 said on 16 November 2012

I made a comment a few minutes ago about being on hold. Turns out I was on commercial website. So I take it all back. Followed SurreyWill's instructions above and had excellent service.

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Margaret26 said on 16 November 2012

I applied for a replacement card two hours ago. As instructed, rang the number given in the responding email, but I have now been on hold for 95 minutes. Really not sure what to do, as I am going away tomorrow, and have no clear idea as to whether or not I am covered. They don't even say how long you are likely to be waiting.
One might be better off applying through the websites that charge, given that this phone call must be costing me a fortune!
It really is a rubbish service,. They could at least tell you when the line is open. I might be better off ringing in the wee small hours, but I bet the line is 9-5!

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ricky99 said on 07 November 2012

Hello Everyone. Thought I'd add my weight,(for what it's worth), to the problem of the scam website which purports to send out European Health Insurance Cards but in actual fact only passes on your details to the official website.

The scam website is "www.applyehic.org" and the real website is "www.ehic.org.uk." Note that the real site does not have "apply" in it. These scammers are taking hard earned money from law abiding citizens and laughing into their gin and tonics whlle doing so.

But if you look closely at the site, they freely admit that they do not send out ehic cards and have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the official body. Of course by law , they have to make this clear, but it's right at the bottom of the page and if you look at the terms and conditions, it's made abundantly clear that there are no refunds given for what they descibe as a "service charge."

You've no chance of getting your money back from them but the thing to do is to take the matter up with your credit/debit card provider, i.e. the card that you used to apply for the ehic card. The card companies are well aware of the scam and will set up an investigation for you to retrieve your money.

Legislation will be brought in soon to close the scam loophole but until that time you have been warned and Good Luck from a True Friend.!

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RVW6 said on 04 November 2012

Hello. I have just applied for a replacement EHIC and have paid £5 for express delivery. I have now clocked up 90 fruitless minutes waiting on the telephone to speak as directed in your e mail to me, and I have now made my journey abroad and returned. I am no nearer receiving my card. Do you have any suggestions?

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User722985 said on 31 October 2012

I have just waited on the phone for an hour trying to get through and now have to stop and go for an appt. that's an hour of my life I won't get back. There is no indication of waiting time other than someone saying we will be with you soon. An hour is not soon. And I will now have to go through this all again tomorrow.

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User722415 said on 29 October 2012

I have a school trip on december and I don't have an EHIC. They said I can't go without one. I've tried applying through online but it says "invalid NI number when I use the same one I used earlier for the main applicant. I also tried applying through phone but it's difficult because my dad's been posted to BFG and I don't have a UK postcode. Additionally he's away for work at the moment too... help?

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ElsieLC said on 25 September 2012

The NHS should not accept applications from these unscrupulous companies. I sent a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency but so far have not had a reply from them. I would recommend that others complain as well as something must be done to stop them conning us.

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parvenu said on 18 September 2012

I recently applied to renew my EHIC online and then forgot about it as my husband developed lung cancer. During the weeks that followed, I had forgotten that I had renewed online and so did it again - this time I did not take care as I was in such a rush, and unfortunately used one of these unofficial sites. I was charged £14.99 and I am now furious!! I had forgotten it was a free card, and did not realise as I was so tired and upset because of my husband's problem. It is time this was sorted out by the NHS. This is outrageous!!

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sweeney2000 said on 14 September 2012

1. The link to the online form does not work with the Opera browser.
2. I too nearly got caught by the dodgy outfits who con money out of people who may not suspect they are on such sites when applying/renewing a card. I wonder firstly why we have to renew these cards anyway, and secondly why the NHS accept applications and renewals from these dodgy outfits.
There needs to be a better system that prevents people being ripped off in this manner. The NHS should not deal with such outfits. There must be a cooling off period , or at least some checking, such as an email which they are obliged to send to the applicant, and that should point out how it can be done for free with the correct online address.
Write to your MPs folks

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mary59 said on 14 September 2012

I applied for a EHIC card on line with Yes insurance and was charged £19.99 , when my conformation arrived i found that i had also got personal accident cover (witch i did not ask for) at a monthly payments of £4 of course i phoned up and cancelled it right away , the girl i spoke to on the phone could not tell me anything about my EHIC card, so i don't know if it is still valid or will i have to apply for a new one . plz help.

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mdoc said on 13 September 2012

I too applied via the first google site, the Belgian one. I paid £19.99 for the express service. I was sent an e-mail asking for more information as there was a query that one of the applicants still had a vaid card. My card had expired in 2011. I provided the card number as requested, another £19.99, and I was informed my card was still valid. I had to phone the 'real' NHS site to clarify and get a replacement card sent out. I presumed(stupidly) that the follow on information I provided would be all part of the origional application! No, it was treated as a second application with a second fee! Beware do not use this site! I unfortunately did not read all the terms and conditions in advance, they are only a checking service nothing else.

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ElsieLC said on 13 September 2012

Beware - I have been conned into paying £19.99 for an EHIC card because I used the first website that came up when I googled EHIC (www.applyehic.org). The website quoted 'official NHS website' and because I was in a hurry to replace a lost card I did not notice the small print at the bottom of the page. Does anyone know how I can get a refund from this company or is it worth bothering?

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Dana M said on 11 September 2012

I'm goging on a holiday and I didn'get my card yet.Am I covered? Thank you!

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Bettiah said on 01 September 2012

My current card is damaged/cracked. Can I get it replaced online or do I have to send you a request via email with all my details?

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Mundofile said on 23 August 2012

The Nhs can't stop a website, the trading standards would have too. the reason the website still exists is because they are not breaking the law, you have not paid for the card, you have paid for their administration services, anyone who pays clearly hasn't read the terms and conditions

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JohnTyson said on 23 August 2012

<a href="https:ehic.com">www.EHIC.com</a> would appear to be another EHIC card application provider charging a fee to cover fees. How long will it take before the NHS finally get around to sorting this out?

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missbeecee said on 21 August 2012

I've only just found out I've paid £19.99 each for our EHIC cards. The website appeared first and I automatically thought I needed to use it. Why does it come up first if it's not the official one? How can the NHS allow this to happen?Are the cardcs we've been issued with genuine?

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John99 said on 08 August 2012

Site is now up again, but the form will not complee. An error message apears regarding a revoked certificate.

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dutchess383 said on 08 August 2012

Tried to apply online but the website/link is down. Phoned at 8.20am and went straight through to a "real person"! All done in 5mins. Very helpful. Thanks.

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Sidge7 said on 05 August 2012

Website down. So what to do now ?

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Annie D F said on 03 August 2012

I agree that it is important that the government (free) site for EHIC applications comes up first. It is so easy not to realise that there is no need to pay the fee demanded by the other sites. Surely something can be done about this. Not everyone listens to Moneybox, etc. And it is so often those who can least afford to lose the money who end up fooled by these sites.

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cas321 said on 31 July 2012

I have also just been caught out by one of these scam sites!! Not impressed - surely they should be obliged to state upfront that the cards can be requested free of charge by using the DH site. They appear at the top of the search via google and they are are very difficult to identify until you get to the point where they ask for payment. Please address this issue.

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SurreyWill said on 25 July 2012

To anyone trying to get assistance from the EHIC phone line:

1) I understand the frustration - the voice recognition is poor

2) I discovered that you can actually use touch-tones instead by simply hitting the number of the option you want, rather than speaking. This is much simpler.

3) Here's how I got through to an operator just now:

- Pressed "0" (to say No to the survey)
- Pressed "5" (to hear more options)
- Pressed "4" (to hear information about EHIC)
- Listened to that information
- Said "Yes" (to talk to an operator)
- I was connected in only 1 ring.

4) The operator I spoke to was *extremely* helpful.

To those people behind the EHIC telephone service:

1) I think you seriously need to reconsider the voice recognition feature. What advantages does this have over the tried-and-tested touch-tone / DTMF system which leaves no room for confusion, variations in accents or speech impediments or English not being a first language, and is quicker to operate?

2) If the reason is to cater for the physically impaired who are unable to press buttons (although if one can somehow dial one number, surely one can almost certainly dial some more...) then may I suggest making touch-tone the default option and allowing voice-recognition as a secondary option if needed. Touch-tone is easier for the vast, majority of users.

3) Your (human) telephone operators are very nice and should be commended.

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Redski said on 13 July 2012

Hi,

I'm currently on holiday in Spain, forgot to get an EHIC card before we left & ended up in A&E at 4am with excruciating toothache from an abscess on an existing tooth that has had root canal treatment about a year ago.

Without an EHIC card, the guy at the desk told me I'd have to cover all cost, at an approximate minimum of €140 just to see a Doctor in A&E. Needless to say, I left and planned on taking more paracetamol until I got back to the UK.

After a quick Google back at the apartment, I found out I could call the EHIC Overseas Help Team back in the UK, at 9am Spanish time.

They just needed my National Insurance Number & fax number of the hospital and immediately faxed an EHIC certificate to the hospital here, and I'm now being treated for free.

The Customer Service from Judith in the Overseas Help Team was fantastic.

Thanks for your help and guidance on this page ... and now just hoping I get called in from the A&E waiting room and treated quickly !

Cheers,

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Andre Salata said on 04 July 2012

Dears,

I'm from Italy and I am living in Oxford/UK with my Brazilian wife. I am a student and she has the femily permit visa.

I am aware that, in order to get her EHIC she has to post the form with a proof of her right to stay here.

I would like to know if a copy of her visa is enough, or she must send the passaport (where the visa is stamped)?

Where can I get this information?

Thank you very much.

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C De la Haye said on 01 July 2012

Hi have tried in vain to obtain a card for myself, husband and child.

Firstly your online application form is not working. For spouses and dependent children you cannot input the NHS number or NI number as it says invalid.

Then the telephone system persistently gets our details wrong and I cannot get the correct details over.

Then I went to our main post office in Bakewell for a form - and they no long have them.

What would you advise - I am happy to write to DoH if needed.

This is an disgraceful non service.

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User689450 said on 24 June 2012

Advice please :
My renewal has not gone well at all. Firstly, I got caught out by an unofficial site in Belgium and paid 14.99 for my 'free' card (if the NHS is so opposed to these websites, which apparently it is, why isn't it blocking its applications?) .. Secondly, card has arrived with incorrect details. Now I have no number to speak to a human being about getting a replacement for my renewed card. Could it be any more complicated.

So., I have two questions:
i/ has anyone ever managed to overturn their application via the shark sites and had their money refunded ?

ii/ does anyone have an NHS / EHIC phone number where a human being will address my replacement query ?
Many thanks for anyone who has taken the time to read to this point! Thank you.

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xxxshilohxxx said on 23 June 2012

hi just a query if anyone can help 4 of us have just received the ehic card 3 expires in 2017 and mine expires in 2013 can anyone explain why mine is shorter expiery than the others please and thankyou

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xxxshilohxxx said on 23 June 2012

hi just a query if anyone can help 4 of us have just received the ehic card 3 expires in 1017 and mine expires in 2013 can anyone explain why mine is shorter expiery than the others please and thankyou

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worcester man said on 18 June 2012

Used the automated service to report a lost card; took about 5 minutes and went smoothly, but like all automated voice services is a little vague.
Sometimes the information is read back and you are asked "Is that correct"? but no indication as to the required reply options; "Yes" appeared to work but would "that is correct" be understood?
Like many 0845 numbers there is a spiel at the beginning about calls being recorded for training and also that you may need your N.I. - I was not asked for this but did have my EHIC number ready.

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zmeldrew said on 18 June 2012

The on-line renewal system tells me that I can't renew my card while it is valid. So, if my card expires on August 12, what do I do if I'm to be in Slovenia from August 10 to 14. Do I call into a Ljubljana internet café at a minute past midnight on August 13?

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me and my shadow said on 11 May 2012

I had no problem ordering replacement card for daughter on automated service - once I had put her date of birth in I was told I would be put through to an operator. The phone only rang once and was answered by a very pleasant lady. Job done in 5 mins flat.

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ColinAStrong said on 10 May 2012

I thought it would be fairly straightforward to get replacement cards for my daughters as theirs have been mislaid, but the system would not accept under 18s. I then tried phoning, but the voice recognition is totally useless. I thought if I ordered a replacement card for myself it would give me the option of getting theirs with it, but it didn't. I have emailed and hope this will produce a result. They need these cards for a school trip to Germany. I am at a total loss as to how to get them until I get a reply to my email. If that doesn't appear I will have to write, but we are running out of time!

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Lilyella08 said on 09 May 2012

All I wanted to do was change my name! what a nightmare! The ridiculous automated voice repeated a completely different address to the post code i gave, and kept repeating it. There were no prompts about name changes and no operator to speak to Quicker to just re-apply. Saves time and temper!

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chloe_090 said on 01 May 2012

hey there, can someone please help me,
i am 15 and i'm going to spain this year, so i wont be 16 but i need a EHIC card. if i put it in my mums name will it still be valid if she isn't accompanying me on the trip?
thank you (:

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HelenEd said on 20 April 2012

I am trying to renew ehic's for myself and for my parents but each time I click on the renewal selection it brings me back to the homepage. Is there a particular time that is best to try to renew?

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Bianca Bergamo said on 18 April 2012

Dear Sir/Madam

I am pregnant and planning to spend some time in South America (holiday) . Am I covered overseas if I have any medical expenses?

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bousthouse said on 28 March 2012

if i go on hloiday before my card arrives am i still covered

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Page last reviewed: 11/07/2014

Next review due: 30/09/2014

Apply now for an EHIC - external website

Important

The EHIC replaced the old E111 in 2006. The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one.

EHIC on Facebook

Follow EHIC on Facebook for the latest updates and answers to your questions

EHIC: packing for your holiday

Be prepared for your holiday, and make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It costs nothing to apply for or renew an EHIC. For more information call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999.

Media last reviewed: 22/08/2013

Next review due: 22/08/2015

Travelling outside the EEA

Find a list of Non European Economic Area (EEA) countries that have reciprocal healthcare agreements with the UK.

Travel health videos

Watch our travel health videos and get ready for your next holiday, including tips on beach safety and how to apply sunscreen

Download the EHIC smartphone app

The new app by the European Commission is a portable guide on how to use the EHIC in 24 languages

Insect bites

Most insect bites can be easily treated, but visit your GP as soon as possible if your symptoms are severe

Marine creature stings

Information on jellyfish, stingray, weever fish and sea urchin stings

Travel insurance

Having both travel insurance and a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will save you a lot of money in case of an emergency