IF you are travelling to France, or elsewhere in Europe, make sure your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid and up to date.
The Department of Health has said that more than three million cards will have expired by the end of the month.
Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "Anyone travelling with an expired EHIC is putting themselves at risk - they will not be covered for basic medical care.
"It is vital that UK residents holidaying in Europe carry their EHIC and take out adequate travel insurance to avoid having to pay out unnecessarily for medical costs that could be covered by a valid EHIC."
The EHIC, which replaced the E111 form in 2005, entitles people to reduced costs or free state-provided healthcare in most European countries should they fall ill or have an accident.
The EHIC can be renewed online or over the phone and will be delivered within ten days; it can also be renewed up to six months in advance of expiry.
For details of the French version of the card read more about the Carte européenne d’Assurance Maladie.
Update 26/03/2010: Change to issuing of European Health Insurance Card
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From the 1st May 2010, if you reside in France but are either under an E106 or E121 for a UK pension, you will need to apply to the UK for your EHIC card. I have just received a letter and form from the DWP to this effect. I am not too sure how a UK hospital or Doctor will react if I need emergency treatment if on holiday in England.
Posted by: George | 05 February 2010 at 20:32
Hi George, many thanks for that, will investigate further.
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 09 February 2010 at 15:41
Hi Craig, have you got any further info on this?
Posted by: Helen | 24 March 2010 at 17:25
Found more about the change on the NHS site:
New EU regulations from May 1 2010
All the best,
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 24 March 2010 at 17:32