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Cover your healthcare abroad

Whatever your reasons for going abroad, you may be entitled to medical care at reduced cost or sometimes free. Your entitlement will vary based on whether you're going to an European Economic Area country (EEA) or elsewhere in the world.


If you're going abroad on holiday or a business trip, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which may give you access to reduced-cost medical treatment. 

Treatment in Europe

Find out what your funding options are if you wish to have treatment in Europe and how to apply for it.

Moving abroad

Find out if you are still eligible for healthcare paid by the UK when you're going to live, work or study in another EEA country.

Country guides

Use the country-by-country guide and find out if you are entitled to healthcare paid by the UK. Different rules apply depending on the circumstances of your visit. 

Visiting England

Find out how to access NHS services during your visit in England and check under what circumstances you are exempt from charges.

Moving to England

Find out how to access NHS services if you are moving to England.

Travel tips

Get practical advice on sun safety, preventing malaria, travel insurance, DVT, jet lag and more.

Travel vaccinations

Learn about the vaccinations available for travellers, and the diseases they protect against.

Page last reviewed: 17/08/2015

Next review due: 17/08/2018

Apply for a free EHIC 

The EHIC is entirely free of charge. However, other, unofficial, websites may charge you if you apply through them. Apply now for your free EHIC.

For general queries about the EHIC, or if you're having difficulties with the online application form, updating your personal details, or replacing a lost or stolen card, call the automated EHIC application service on 0300 330 1350 (the line is manned from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm. A voice automated service is  available 24/7).

If you wish to claim a refund, call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999. If calling from abroad ring +44 191 218 1999.

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