GHIC stands for Global Health Insurance Card, which is a new type of card that UK residents can use to access healthcare when traveling in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. It replaces the old European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that was previously used by UK citizens.
Essential aspects to know about GHIC:
Who is eligible for GHIC?
UK residents who are entitled to use the National Health Service (NHS) and are planning to travel to the EU, EEA, or Switzerland can apply for GHIC.
How do I apply for GHIC?
You can apply for GHIC online through the NHS website. You will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, and National Insurance number.
How long does it take to receive GHIC?
You should receive your GHIC within 10 working days after applying online.
How long is GHIC valid for?
GHIC is valid for up to five years. You will need to renew it before it expires if you plan to continue traveling in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
What does GHIC cover?
GHIC covers necessary healthcare services that you may need while traveling in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. This includes treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, routine maternity care, and emergency medical treatment.
Do I still need travel insurance if I have GHIC?
Yes, you should still consider purchasing travel insurance in addition to GHIC. Travel insurance offers extra coverage for unplanned emergencies like medical treatment and evacuation, losing one’s luggage, cancelling a trip etc.
Can I use GHIC in non-EU countries?
No, GHIC is only valid in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. If you plan to travel outside of these areas, you should consider purchasing travel insurance that provides medical coverage.
What if I lose my GHIC?
If you lose your GHIC while traveling, you can contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team for assistance. They can provide you with a provisional replacement certificate that will allow you to receive necessary healthcare services until you return to the UK.
What if I need medical treatment while traveling?
If you need medical treatment while traveling in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you should present your GHIC to the healthcare provider. They will then provide you with necessary medical treatment according to the rules of the country you are in.
Do I need to carry my GHIC with me at all times while traveling?
Yes, it’s a good idea to carry your GHIC with you at all times while traveling in case you need medical treatment unexpectedly.
What if I have both GHIC and EHIC?
If you have both GHIC and EHIC, you should use your GHIC when traveling in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland as it provides the same coverage as EHIC and will eventually replace it.
In summary, GHIC is a new type of card that UK residents can use to access necessary healthcare services when traveling in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. It’s free of charge and valid for up to five years. While GHIC provides some coverage for medical treatment while traveling, it’s still recommended to purchase travel insurance for additional coverage.