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Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is a key item to have when travelling around the world, especially if you’re from the UK. This card provides access to state healthcare in certain countries that have a reciprocal agreement with the UK. Having a GHIC gives you peace of mind that you will be able to access essential medical care while travelling, and can even save you money on costly medical bills.

In this blog article RHJ Law, part of RHJ Group, look at the benefits of having a Global Health Insurance Card and why it’s an important document for international travellers.

Benefits of having a Global Health Insurance Card

What is a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)?

A Global Health Insurance Card, or GHIC for short, is a healthcare card that allows you to access state-provided medical treatment while travelling or living within the European Union (EU). It’s an essential card to have, especially if you’re travelling from the UK and are looking for healthcare coverage in another EU country.

The GHIC is a new card that replaces the previous European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens, post-Brexit. It covers pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care while travelling in the EU, making it a must-have for anyone planning to travel or relocate abroad.

Read more about GHIC

How to apply for a GHIC

Getting your Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is quick and easy. If you already have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), you can simply apply for a GHIC online through the NHS website. You will need to fill out an application form and provide some personal information such as your name, date of birth and National Insurance number.

If you don’t have an EHIC, you can still apply for a GHIC. The application process is the same, and you’ll just need to provide some additional information, such as your address and passport details. You can also apply for a GHIC on behalf of family members, as long as they are UK residents.

Once you have completed the application form, you should receive your GHIC within 10 working days. You can also download the NHS app and register for your GHIC digitally, which will allow you to access your card information even if you don’t have your physical card with you.

Overall, getting a GHIC is a simple and straightforward process, and it’s a valuable asset for anyone travelling or living in the EU.

Apply for your GHIC here

Benefits of having a GHIC

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is a valuable tool for those who travel or live outside of the UK. It provides access to medical care in the European Union (EU) on the same terms as citizens of that country. Some of the benefits of having a GHIC include free or reduced-cost medical treatment in the EU, which is particularly useful in an emergency.

Additionally, GHIC holders do not need to worry about unexpected medical costs when travelling to the EU. Instead, they can focus on enjoying their holiday or trip, knowing that they are covered by the card. Having a GHIC also provides peace of mind, as it helps ensure that individuals receive the medical attention they need when travelling or living outside the UK.

Moreover, with the GHIC, people can enjoy benefits that are similar to the ones that were available under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). GHIC is, however, the new and updated version of EHIC, and it’s much easier to use and renew. The GHIC also has no expiry date and remains valid for as long as the individual remains eligible.

Overall, having a GHIC is essential for those travelling to or living in the EU, as it can help ensure access to the healthcare services they need, without worrying about any unexpected medical bills.


Access to healthcare services in the EU with a GHIC

Having a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives UK citizens access to necessary healthcare services when travelling or living within the European Union (EU). It works in the same way as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which was replaced by the GHIC after the UK’s departure from the EU.

The GHIC provides free or reduced-cost medical treatment to individuals who need it while travelling within the EU. It also covers pre-existing medical conditions and emergency treatment. The healthcare services provided may vary depending on the country you’re visiting, as healthcare systems differ from country to country.

In the event of a medical emergency, the GHIC allows UK citizens to access state healthcare at a reduced cost or free of charge in most cases. The GHIC also covers necessary medical treatment that may be required during a stay abroad, such as medication or physiotherapy.

It’s important to note that the GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. It does not cover the costs of repatriation, private medical care, or lost or stolen belongings. Therefore, it’s advisable to obtain both travel insurance and a GHIC before travelling to ensure that you have comprehensive coverage.


GHIC vs EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)

As you may know, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) was previously used by UK residents to access healthcare services in EU countries. However, with the UK leaving the European Union, the EHIC is no longer available to Britons. In its place, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) has been introduced.

The GHIC offers the same benefits as the EHIC. It allows UK citizens to access healthcare services in EU countries at the same cost as local residents. However, there are a few differences between the two.

It’s important to note that if you still have an EHIC, you can use it until it expires. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC.


How long is a GHIC valid for?

A Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is valid for up to five years, after which you’ll need to renew it. This card entitles you to receive medical treatment within the European Economic Area (EEA). You will be treated the same as citizens of those countries. However, it’s important to note that a GHIC isn’t a replacement for travel insurance. You should still consider purchasing a travel insurance policy for complete protection.

The process of renewing a GHIC is simple and straightforward. All you need to do is visit the official GHIC website and fill out the application form. Once you’ve completed the form, you’ll be required to provide some personal information. Information such as your name, date of birth, and national insurance number. Your new card will be sent to you by post, usually within a week or two.


Speak to an expert

In conclusion, having a Global Health Insurance Card is highly recommended for UK residents. It is a card you get for free and it provides access to essential healthcare services overseas. Meaning that in the event of illness or injury, you’re covered. Offering peace of mind and protection against unexpected medical costs while you’re travelling.

Moving abroad? In that case you might need a full health insurance policy. If you’re unsure, why not speak to the experts and we can let you know what you need.

Speak to the experts to find out if you need health insurance

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