During travelling, taking care of your health should be a top priority. For UK nationals, the Global Health Insurance card plays a vital role. With the help of this card, you can access to any healthcare while you are visiting Europe. You can use it in all European Union countries. However, this card is limited in some countries. For Example, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. If you are trying to figure out whether GHIC is worth getting or not. Then this guide will help you to make a decision. Because this guide will serve you a comprehensive understanding of GHIC. We will also discuss the whole procedure to apply for GHIC for UK residents.
What is Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
GHIC is similar to the European Health Insurance Card, which is issued to replace the EHIC with slight changes. Unlike its name “Global” the GHIC only covers travel to EU states. It is an essential document that allows UK residents to use any healthcare services in European Union Countries. The Government issued this card at the start of 2021 when the nation departed its ways from the EU. The GHIC still allows UK residents to access medical care while traveling across Europe. By presenting this card, you become eligible for all medical care at the same cost as locals. UK residents can also use this service when temporarily residing in any European country. Simply, it ensures peace of mind during your travels.
Benefits of GHIC for UK residents
The GHIC provides numerous benefits when traveling to European countries. Some of the great benefits are mentioned here.
- Emergency Medical Treatment
In case of any accident, epidemic, sudden illness, or Pandemic the GHIC ensures that you receive necessary medical services. Irrespective of the country’s medical services, it can provide medical treatment without delay. In the same way, it can be life-saving and quick medical care in some critical conditions.
- Chronic Illness
The GHIC also covers your Chronic Illness. For instance, it ensures you can still receive medical attention while traveling. This is important for those who have chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, or other mental illness. Some of the more common ongoing conditions are asthma, diabetes, and other respiratory problems. Also, it can be more beneficial for individuals who require regular medical care and supervision.
- Maternity Care
For pregnant women, the GHIC ensures complete maternity care. It will cover both routine and emergency pregnancy care when you’re in Europe. Insurance professionals can also use this card for childbirth in any European country. They can access state-provided maternity care for free or at discounted rates. Cardholders can use the same benefits while traveling or staying.
- Peace of Mind
Like EHIC, it is not a replacement for Travel insurance. But to some extent, it can work as a peace of mind while traveling. Even if you have travel insurance, it’s still a good deal to have a GHIC. In fact, some experts also insist you have this card along with travel insurance. There could also be some cases where a GHIC would cover you rather than travel insurance.
Eligibility for GHIC in 2023
To be eligible for a Global Health Insurance Card, you should fulfill some criteria. Below are certain criteria that you must fulfill.
- You should be a UK resident
- You have no healthcare cover provided by Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
- You are living in the EU countries with an A1 Document issued by Uk.
- You are eligible if you are a family member or dependent of any UK resident.
Congratulations, if you are fulfilling the above-mentioned criteria, you are eligible for the UK GHIC. Now let’s learn how to apply for this useful insurance card.
Applying Procedure and Guidelines for UK GHIC
For all individuals, it is very necessary to know the application process. Firstly, you must register at the National Health Services in the UK. After getting registration, you can apply for the UK GHIC. The great news is that the GHIC requires no application fee. One crucial aspect of this document is that the whole procedure is totally free for UK nationals. But be cautious of unofficial websites, as that may charge you unnecessary application fees.
Similarly, the process of obtaining a GHIC is simple and user-friendly. As a UK resident, you can apply through an online application form through the NHS website in the UK. To confirm your eligibility, the application form requires basic information. Along with basic information, you will need to provide the following information
- Full Name
- Date Of Birth
- National Insurance or NHS number
- CHI number (For Scotland only)
- Health and care number (For Northern Ireland)
You will usually receive your GHIC within 15 days. In some instances, it may take longer due to busy days. You should check the website daily. If you are planning to go on vacation, it is advisable to apply for this card as soon as possible.
Once you get your GHIC, it will be valid for five years. After that time, it will expire then you’ll need to replace it with a new one. The expiry date is available on the card. Keep an eye on the expiry date and apply for the new one before the deadline. Otherwise, getting medical treatment while traveling to EU Countries could be very expensive.
List of European Countries suitable for Uk GHIC
So, if you are traveling abroad, it’s essential to know which countries are valid for GHIC. Despite its name, it is still valid in the following countries.
- Republic of Cyprus
- Czech Republic
limitations of GHIC
Like EHIC, Global Health Insurance Card is only applicable when a UK citizen travels abroad. Or it provides medical care during the temporary stay in Europe. However, there are some limitations. One of the drawbacks of this card is that it is only applicable to unplanned treatments. It does not cover the private hospitals or healthcare providers. Subsequently, there are many instances when GHIC is completely insufficient. To ensure complete medical protection, individuals should consider these limitations. By understanding these limitations, you will be able to make good decisions while exploring Europe.
- Limited Medical services
The GHIC holders can only get medical services when traveling in European countries. Despite this, it only covers necessary medical treatments and emergencies. In addition to this, it does not cover private healthcare, elective procedures, and repatriation expenses.
- No Non-medical services
The GHIC is only available to seek medical services and does not provide non-medical services. Therefore, GHIC cannot replace travel insurance, which usually covers travel issues.
- Tough Eligibility Requirements
The GHIC is only available to UK residents. Thenon-UK residents living in the state may not be eligible for the GHIC. Hence, these residents should explore other health insurance options while traveling.
Global Health Insurance Card Renewal
Are you a frequent traveler or planning an upcoming trip? Ensure uninterrupted access to quality healthcare while abroad by renewing your Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The GHIC offers UK residents the reassurance of receiving necessary medical treatment in participating European countries and beyond, without facing unexpected medical expenses.
Why Renew Your GHIC? Renewing your GHIC guarantees that you and your loved ones maintain access to essential healthcare services whenever you explore new horizons. As your trusted companion on your travel adventures, the GHIC ensures that unexpected medical needs won’t disrupt your plans.
When to Renew? GHIC renewal is a simple and straightforward process. We recommend renewing your GHIC well in advance of your travel plans to ensure that you’re covered from the moment you step foot in your destination. Don’t leave it to the last minute – renew today and travel with confidence!
How to Renew? Renewing your GHIC is easier than ever. Visit our official website [website link] to access the GHIC renewal portal. Provide your essential information, and within a few simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to extending your healthcare coverage while abroad.
Before traveling to Europe, make sure you have travel insurance as well as a Global Health Insurance card. Furthermore, each family member needs to have a card. In the same way, each child should have his/her own GHIC, if they are traveling to Europe. Children under 16 years cannot apply for a card. However, their parents or guardians can apply for the insurance card