Brexit Travel FAQs

  • What is GHIC?

    The new GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) provides you with the same medically necessary state-provided healthcare that you were able to access with an EHIC when travelling to the EU. Necessary healthcare includes treatment for a pre-existing or chronic condition – some treatments will need to be pre-arranged with the relevant healthcare provider in the country you're visiting, for example kidney dialysis or chemotherapy. It does not include healthcare that you travel specifically to receive.

    GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance as it will not cover you for all medical costs or the cost of emergency repatriation back to the UK.

    All UK residents are eligible to apply for a GHIC, and it is valid in all EU countries.

  • Is my EHIC card still valid?

    Your EHIC card will be valid until it expires, and you can continue to use it when travelling to the EU. Your current EHIC will no longer be valid in EFTA countries: Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Some UK residents will be eligible to apply for a new EHIC card, which is valid in EFTA countries. Please see the NHS web page for more details on who is eligible.

  • How can I get a GHIC?

    The new GHIC card is free to obtain from the official GHIC website. It is recommended that you apply at least 2 weeks before you plan to travel to ensure your card arrives on time.

  • Is the GHIC valid globally?

    No. The GHIC is only valid in the EU.

    The UK is looking to agree new arrangements with the EFTA countries that would further extend reciprocal healthcare cover. An agreement with Norway has already been reached, and UK citizens ordinarily resident in the UK can use a UK passport to access state-provided medical treatment that becomes necessary during a trip to Norway.

  • What is a new EHIC card?

    The UK will continue to issue new EHIC cards to eligible UK residents. These new EHIC cards will continue to be valid throughout the EEA and Switzerland. Those eligible include certain UK/EU dual nationals, and certain UK residents who have been in the EU for work or study since before 1 January 2021. Please see the NHS website for more details.

  • What about travel to Ireland?

    Under existing Common Travel Area arrangements with Ireland, UK residents will continue to be able to access necessary healthcare in Ireland by showing proof of residency documentation (such as a UK driving licence, a biometric residence permit, or a Northern Irish medical card) or EHIC or GHIC as used elsewhere in the EU.

  • Will insurers be changing their terms and conditions to accommodate this?

    For many travel policies in the market, the change from the EHIC to the GHIC is unlikely to lead to a meaningful change to terms and conditions; any reference to the EHIC would simply be irrelevant and customers would still be able to make medical claims.

  • I have retired/am planning to retire in France. What access to healthcare will I get?

    Travel insurance will only cover temporary stays abroad, for periods not exceeding the trip duration you have chosen. It does not cover those who are living abroad on a permanent or semi-permanent basis and most travel policies require that, to be eligible for cover, customers have their main home in the UK and are registered with a doctor in the UK.