GHIC: All you need to know

Whether you’re planning on a cultural coach tour to Rome or a relaxing beach break in Spain, you might want to consider the options available to you when it comes to medical treatment abroad. Before you go, it is important that you are informed about the newly introduced GHIC and what it can provide cover for.

From 1st January, the government introduced the ‘Global Health Insurance Card’ (GHIC), which is to replace the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Both cards provide temporary access to state-provided healthcare services in the EU.

If you already have an EHIC, you can continue to use it in the EU until the card expires at which point you can get a new GHIC card. If you do not have an EHIC, you can apply for a new GHIC here

GHIC: What does it cover?

File:UK Global Health Insurance Card.png
UK Global Health Insurance Card

The GHIC can be used to access basic health care needs when visiting an EU country. The basic healthcare needs refer to or are defined as medical conditions that are of necessity and must be attended to, while away from the UK in the European Union. This means that as well as having access to A&E and medical emergency treatment, you would also have access to treatment for pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, maternity care (not including childbirth), oxygen access, treatment, care, and dialysis of the kidney. It is worth noting that arrangements might have to be made on the ground before travelling to some medical facilities, for some medical conditions like chemotherapy and the treatment, care, and dialysis of the kidney.

GHIC: What doesn’t it cover?

The Global Health Insurance Card would not cover your basic health insurance needs in the following non-EU nations, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. Neither would it cover the expenses of travelling because of medical treatment or check-ups.

It’s important to note that neither the EHIC or GHIC is a replacement for travel insurance, as they do not cover holiday cancellation, mountain rescue, repatriation and more.

Travel Insurance: Why do you still need it?

Travel insurance covers unexpected losses during international or domestic travels and is not restricted to the EU. Travel insurance should be arranged as soon as you have booked your holiday, to ensure that you have cancellation cover in place, which will protect any deposits or payments made towards your holiday booking.

Travel insurance will cover you for more than just medical related mishaps. It will provide you with wider protection, such as cover for;

· Cancellation & Curtailment – Cover the expenses of unused and non-refundable travel and accommodation costs in case you need to cancel or cut short your trip.

· Enhanced Covid-19 Cover – Cover for cancellation of your trip if you or anyone named on your policy tests positive for Covid-19, plus more.

· Travel Delays – Cover the costs of any delays during your trip.

Couple with personal belongings

· Personal Belongings – Cover if your bags are lost, damaged or stolen, this would be covered up to the policy limits.

· Repatriation – Covers the costs of getting you back to the UK if an illness or accident you suffer when you’re abroad, affects your return travel plans.

· Personal liability – Legal expenses can be provided if you’re held responsible for causing damages or injury to another person while on holiday.

GHIC: The facts & how to apply ·

You can apply for a free GHIC via the official website – the Government says it’s best to do this at least two weeks before you travel to give it time to arrive, website link is here

· You cannot get a GHIC from your doctor, nor can you get one from a post office.

· Avoid shyster sites that charge a fee.

· Though you must be over 16 to apply for a GHIC, every family member requires a card. To apply on behalf of a child, just include them as a dependant in the relevant section of the application and you will each receive a separate GHIC.

· If you lose your card, or it gets stolen, call 0300 330 1350 (from abroad call 0044 191 218 1999) or email

Covered2go: Simple & flexible travel insurance

If you’re planning a coach holiday in the UK or setting your sights on warmer climes, it is important to have travel insurance in place to ensure your well-earned holiday is protected. Covered2go have a range of travel insurance policies, which have been designed to protect you from the moment you book your trip, to the moment you arrive home – providing you with complete peace of mind. For more information or to Get A Quote, check out their website or if you have any queries at all, their customer services team will be more than happy to assist you on 0344 482 7755.