If you are travelling to Europe you need to make sure you and your family have an up-to-date EHIC card. That includes the very biggest of you and the very newest of you.
You can apply or renew your card via the www.gov.uk website. Along with the usual information you will also need to have handy everyones national insurance number or NHS number. Then follow the steps and voila! You all have EHIC cards.
If you somehow manage to get onto a site that asks you to pay for applying for an EHIC, you are not in the right place. The EHIC is free. You DO NOT need to pay.
Why is it Important to have an EHIC?
An EHIC lets you receive state health care in any country in the EU and Switzerland at a reduced cost or free. It basically gives you access to the same state health care the citizens of that country receive. For example, if you are in a country where it is free to see a doctor, it will also be free for you with your EHIC.
When I was holidaying in Mallorca I developed mastitis, which I like to call mouldy boobies. Those who have had mouldy boobies will know it is just awful! So, not wanting it to ruin my time away, I was keen to see a doctor and get it sorted.
Once I found out where the doctors office was, I simply asked to see a doctor and, in my best Spanish, tried to tell them I had mouldy boobies. They took my name and scanned my EHIC card, which I already had out in full view and then I waited for the doctor. It was really that simple and didn’t cost anything.
Be warned though, the hotel and lots of people I spoke to tried to direct me to the private clinic in town. There were also flyers and business cards advertising these services in and around the hotel. It can be quite confusing, however, these will not accept the EHIC and you will have to pay. It’s important to make it clear you are asking for the state funded healthcare practitioners.
Regardless of what is happening with Brexit, this is still relevant for the time being.