European health insurance

By Martin Lewis, February 16, 2012

The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gets you treatment in state-run EU hospitals at the same price as locals. It can get you free or discounted medical care in all 27 EU countries, plus a few others.

So if it is free for them then it is free for you, if they pay you pay. Yet many cards are lapsing - four million are due to expire this year. So check yours now to make sure it is still in date.

You must be over 16 to apply and 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 EHIC.

If you are thinking of applying make sure you don't just "google" EHIC, as you may end up at sites that will charge you £10-£15 to process your card application. The card is free so there really is no need to pay for anything. Instead, the best way to apply for a new card is via the official EHIC website at, or by calling 0845 606 2030.

Last updated: 11:57am, February 16 2012