Information on healthcare in Europe

Information on healthcare in Europe

Existing customers

If you have bought travel insurance with Aviva and require emergency assistance, the first thing to do is call our helpline immediately on (+44)1603 208 044. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and an English-speaking adviser will be on hand to help you.

General information

Remember the old E111 form? It gave you access to free or reduced-cost state provided emergency medical treatment for accident or illness anywhere in the EU. In 2006, the E111 changed and became the EHIC - the European Health Insurance Card.

The EHIC is free and valid in all current 27 member states of the EU, as well as Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland too. The quickest and easiest way to apply for an EHIC is online at (delivery within 7 days).

Alternatively, you can apply:

  • By calling 0845 606 2030 (delivery within 10 days), or
  • Pick up an application pack from the Post Office (delivery within 21 days)

Do remember that you have to pay for medical treatment in most countries and that the EHIC will only give you free treatment in those EU member states that offer it.

  • In most other European countries, an EHIC will entitle you to discounted treatment.

The Department of Health strongly advises that you carry an EHIC when abroad

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance - it is complementary to it. The level of state provided emergency medical treatment will vary between countries and may not cover things that are free through the NHS. The following are covered by a good travel insurance policy but not by the EHIC:

  • Rescue services eg from a mountain ski resort.
  • Additional accommodation and travel costs if you need treatment or to get back to the UK.
  • Accommodation you have lost through being hospitalised.
  • Repatriation back to the UK.
  • Support and advice, 24 hour helplines with multi-lingual staff.
  • A good travel insurance policy will give you the additional emergency medical cover you need.

Before you leave:

  • DO make sure you have all the right paperwork:
  • Passport.
  • EHIC.
  • Proof of UK residence (a driving licence or NHS card for instance).
  • Your vaccination record.
  • A record of any medication you may be on.
  • DO check your travel insurance policy, so you know what your insurers will pay for if you need to make a claim.

If you fall ill or have an accident requiring emergency medical treatment while you're travelling in a country where the EHIC is valid:

  • DO get in touch with you travel company representative if you have one.
  • DO contact your travel insurance company immediately if you are able.
  • DO tell the doctor the generic name and brand name of any medication you're taking.
  • DO tell the doctor if you have visited any other countries on this trip.
  • DO keep the names, addresses and contact numbers of a friend or relative handy so medical staff can let them know what has happened.
  • There's a handy section for this at the back of your passport.
  • DO keep a contact name and/or number for the British Embassy where you're travelling.
  • British Consular officials may help you get back to the UK quickly.
  • DO keep all receipts, price tags, labels and any special proofs of purchase if you intend to make a claim on your travel insurance.

International Health Insurance

If you are planning to live and/or work abroad, you may wish to consider taking out an international health Insurance policy to help protect you against the cost of medical treatment. Travel insurance can cover you for emergency medical treatment whilst abroad but health insurance may be more appropriate if you are planning on extending your stay.

International Solutions from Aviva helps give you the peace of mind that you have the medical support you need when you need it most. Designed to help you get access to treatment quickly and easily should you fall ill or have an accident abroad, it is also flexible, enabling you to pick-and-choose benefits to suit your need and budget.

Find out more about international health insurance from Aviva

Or call: 0800 42 42 42 quoting reference NALHEK
or for calls from outside the UK (+44) 2380 371 944

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