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Applying for and EHIC card this summer?

If you plan to travel or holiday in Europe this summer, you may need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or need to renew an old one.

EHIC cards entitle you to free or reduced-cost medical treatment while travelling or staying in a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or in Switzerland. The EEA includes all European Union countries together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Despite what you see on the internet, EHIC cards are free of cost to UK citizens and you should never pay for one.

You can get an EHIC card, or renew one on the internet, but be careful when searching for ‘EHIC cards' online. The best search results are not always the ones at the top of the page! Many search engines carry ads for third party websites at the top of search results pages, and these sites often look like official government websites. Consumers who click on these ads often end up paying the operators of these ‘official-looking’ websites for something they could get for free from the National Health Service.

Make sure you don’t pay more than you have to by getting your EHIC card from NHS choices or look for it on GOV.UK. You can also apply by phoning NHS Choices automated service on 0300 3301350

Always remember, whether applying or renewing an EHIC card, passport or driving licence online, there are copycat websites out there looking to con more cash from you than you need to spend. Not to mention putting your personal details at risk.

If you are looking for any government services online, don't go through a search engine, go straight to GOV.UK and search there instead.