Concerned about your GHIC? Wondering if your card will be valid in a post-Brexit world? Then read on!

The convenience of the GHIC card has benefited UK nationals for years as a way of avoiding certain health care costs while abroad in the EU. European Health Insurance Cards not only cover pre-existing medical conditions but also emergency care - providing necessary state healthcare at a reduced cost (or in many cases free of charge) until you return home. Those with chronic illnesses can also travel with the knowledge that they'll receive treatment on the same terms as the citizens of the country they're visiting. You may now be wondering how Brexit will affect UK business travellers abroad, or anyone needing healthcare within the EU after we leave. Whatever way you look at it Brexit will affect your GHIC card and it's important to think about preparing for possible changes if you're planning a trip!

Will Brexit affect my GHIC?

At this stage your European Health Insurance Card (GHIC) allows you the same medical care as EU nationals. Following both the UK and the EU signing the Withdrawal Agreement on 31st January 2020, we are now in a transition period lasting until at least 31st December 2020. During this time, everything will remain the same and you can continue to use your GHIC as normal.

The UK has reciprocal health insurance deals with a few non-EU countries, including Australia and New Zealand, which will be unaffected by Brexit.

How long does GHIC cover you for?

Technically, it's five years. However, your card will only be valid up until 31st December 2020, according to the UK Government website.

Do you still need travel insurance with an GHIC?

It's very important to remember that the European Health Insurance Card is not an alternative to travel insurance because the cover can be quite limited, so you must make sure you have both when travelling abroad. If you have travel arrangements, make sure you continue to buy comprehensive travel insurance that covers all pre-existing medical conditions you have and the fun activities you plan to do on your trip, just as if you were visiting a non-EU country.

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If you would like a cheaper travel insurance alternative, you may like to take a look at our Bronze or Silver cover or Gold cover which provide appropriate levels of cover, including up to £5 million in medical cover with Bronze or up to £10 million in medical cover with our Silver or Gold cover.

Medical cover
£5 million
£10 million
£10 million
£10 million
Cancellation cover
Baggage cover
Lost passport
Personal money

All information correct as of February 2020. Sources: the UK Government website and the NHS website.

Further Advice on Brexit

If you found this guide to how Brexit will affect your GHIC card useful, then please visit a few of our other articles for further helpful information to get you up to speed for the Brexit deadline.

Holiday Extras Cover Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848, Holiday Extras Cover Ltd 05058680 is registered in England and Wales. Registered address, Ashford road, Newingreen, Kent CT21 4JF

Holiday Extras Cover Ltd is underwritten by White Horse Insurance Ireland dac is registered in Ireland No. 306045. White Horse Insurance Ireland dac’s Registered Office is First Floor, Rineanna House, Shannon Free Zone, Shannon, County Clare, Republic of Ireland. White Horse Insurance Ireland dac is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The nature and extent of consumer protections may differ from those for firms based in the UK. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website, our FRN is 203320.