FCO warns: EHIC does not replace travel insurance over 65

By , April 27, 2012 1:04 pm
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is reminding UK travellers of the importance of taking travel insurance over 65 every time you travel following research that showed over half of British travellers wrongly believe that an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) entitles them to free medical care anywhere in Europe.

Lynda St Cooke of the Foreign Office’s Know Before You Go Campaign said: “It is worrying that so many British EHIC holders are not aware of what the card entitles them to. If you are travelling in Europe, you should definitely take your EHIC. But it is also important to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you travel”.

The EHIC is important for British travellers to Europe because it proves your right to state provided health care, and in some cases this may be free or at a reduced cost.  However it does not cover the full cost of medical care in Europe or cover the cost of medical repatriation back to the UK.

The other benefit of having an EHIC when you travel to Europe is that many travel insurance providers will reduce of waive the excess payment on a claim for medical costs, if the EHIC was used when obtaining medical treatment and this resulted in a reduction of the cost.

In short, although the EHIC is useful to have when you travel to Europe; it does not replace the need for travel insurance over 65, which is vital every time you travel.

Travel insurance over 65 will provide cover the costs of all types of emergency medical treatment whilst you are away and also provide cover for repatriation back to the UK if it is deemed necessary. Terms and conditions will apply when you buy a travel insurance policy, whether you are over 65 or under 65, so read the policy wording before you travel and make sure it is suitable to cover your medical conditions and your holiday.

To ensure that you are covered for medical costs relating to any pre-existing medical conditions you will need to declare these medical conditions when you get a quote for travel insurance over 65.

It is worth taking the extra time when getting a quote for travel insurance over 65 to make sure that you declare any pre-existing medical conditions to give you the peace of mind that you are covered by your travel insurance if you need medical treatment whilst you are on holiday.

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