Claiming a refund
Depending on the country you visit you may be expected to pay all or part of your bill upfront and then claim a refund afterwards.
Some countries ask patients to pay a contribution towards the cost of their care, such as for prescription costs. This is known as a co-payment or patient share.
You can claim back the difference between the total bill and the co-payment, but the actual co-payment is not refundable.
Keep all receipts and any paperwork. You or your insurance company may need them if you're applying for a refund.
What to do if you believe your existing EHIC, UK GHIC or new UK EHIC has been wrongly rejected
If you believe that your UK GHIC, new UK EHIC or existing EHIC has been wrongly rejected by a hospital or other healthcare provider in the country you're visiting, you should try and resolve the issue with them.
Explain that the card entitles the holder to necessary healthcare.
If you need more help, contact NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us/overseas-healthcare-services-contact-us They can give you advice on what to do.
What to do if you think you've been incorrectly charged for medical treatment by an EU Member State
It's important that you keep documents relating to your treatment. The Overseas Healthcare Services at the NHSBSA may ask you for more information to check your eligibility and the cost of the treatment you had. This could include:
• receipts or invoices relating to treatment
• confirmation of payments made to healthcare institutions
• documents relating to insurance cover if your insurer paid for treatment
• discharge documents
They'll look at your claim to decide whether you were charged when you should have been covered. If they determine that your treatment should have been covered by the UK GHIC, new UK EHIC or existing EHIC, they’ll reimburse you or your insurer for the costs of treatment which are covered by your card. This may not include the full cost of treatment.
You can contact NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us/overseas-healthcare-services-contact-us
Coverage for quarantine hotels in the EU
Some EU countries require foreign visitors, including UK residents, to stay in quarantine hotels if they either:
• test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and have no or mild symptoms
• are close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
The costs of quarantine hotels are not covered by an EHIC or GHIC, as the UK considers these hotels to be a public health measure, not medically necessary state-provided healthcare.
If you need medical treatment while staying at a quarantine hotel, the UK Government will fund treatment as usual for UK residents or insured individuals. Use your EHIC or GHIC card, or contact the NHS Business Services Authority to receive a Provisional Replacement Certificate if you do not have a valid card.
EHIC has only ever covered emergency and necessary healthcare costs, so it is always recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance, including health cover, when you travel abroad.
If you're abroad and do not have your card with you or your card has been lost or stolen.
You can get a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to prove your entitlement to medically necessary healthcare if you travel to Europe without your existing EHIC, UK GHIC or new UK EHIC and need treatment during your visit.
If you need a PRC outside opening hours, you should call as soon as possible the next working day.
The PRC will give you the same cover as an existing EHIC, UK GHIC or new UK EHIC until you return home.
When calling for a PRC, you'll need to give:
• your National Insurance number
• your name
• your address
• your date of birth
• the name of the treatment facility
• the email address for the specific department of the organisation providing your treatment
To apply for a PRC contact NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us/overseas-healthcare-services-contact-us
Someone else can apply for a PRC on your behalf.