Residents of the United Kingdom
Entitlement to an EHIC is based on insurability under EU law, and not on a person's nationality. This applies to all EEA countries. The UK operates a residency-based healthcare system, which means that insurability is generally determined by residency and not by the past or present payment of National Insurance contributions or UK taxes.
If you are ordinarily resident in the UK and not insured by another EEA country, then you are likely to be considered to be insured by the UK under EU law and, therefore, will be entitled to a UK-issued EHIC. You will need to provide the necessary evidence when applying. There are certain circumstances where you may be entitled to a UK-issued EHIC despite living in another EEA country. Further details can be found in the 'Living in Europe' section below.
If you are insured by another EEA country but live in the United Kingdom, you are not entitled to a UK-issued EHIC. You should contact the relevant authority in the country you are insured by and request an EHIC.
Important: If your circumstances change, you may lose your entitlement to a UK-issued EHIC. If you then use your EHIC abroad, you may be liable for the full cost of treatment received. You may lose your entitlement to a UK-issued EHIC when you move abroad, take up work abroad, or change your residency status.
Every family member requires an EHIC. You can make an application for yourself and on behalf of your partner and any dependent children under the age of 16. If you already have an EHIC, you must enter your own details first and apply for any additional cards when prompted.
If you are under the age of 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.
You will need to give the following information for each person you are making an application for:
- full name
- date of birth
- National Insurance (NI) number or NHS Number (CHI number in Scotland, or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland)
Temporary NI numbers cannot be used to apply for an EHIC. A temporary NI number uses the prefix "TN", the person's date of birth, and "M" or "F" to denote gender – for example, TN131160M.
Your card will normally arrive within seven days if you apply using the official EHIC website.
If you or a family member are not an EEA or Swiss national, you will have to provide further evidence that you are eligible. You will need to complete an EHIC application form (PDF, 425kb), attach a copy of your visa or UK residence permit, and post it to:
NHS Business Services Authority
European Health Insurance Card
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
If you live in Europe
If you live in another EEA country or Switzerland, you will be entitled to a UK-issued EHIC if one of the following applies to you:
- you receive a UK State Pension or exportable UK benefit and have a UK-issued S1 form (certificate of entitlement) registered in your country of residence
- you are a worker posted to work in another EEA country or Switzerland by your UK employer, or a frontier worker living in the EEA and working in the UK
- you are a family member of a posted worker or of someone working in the UK and you are not covered in your own right by the EEA country you reside in
- you are a student going to another EEA country or Switzerland to study
You cannot apply online for a UK-issued EHIC. Instead, you’ll need to request an EHIC-E application form with the Overseas Healthcare Team. Simply call 0191 218 1999 from the UK or 0044 (0)191 218 1999 from abroad, (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm).
For more detailed information, see the Moving abroad section or phone the EHIC enquiry line on 0300 330 1350.
If you are not eligible for a UK-issued EHIC, you should see if you are eligible for an EHIC in the country you are currently living in.
Residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible for an EHIC.