Understanding EHIC use in Germany
As a continent of diverse nations, Europe is an exciting and inspiring area to explore. When on your travels it is important to feel reassured your healthcare is covered. No matter whether you are on a skiing holiday or a beach holiday, you never know when an emergency may strike. In the UK we are fortunate to have a free health service to support us in our time of need. When visiting other European countries, it is important to remember that free healthcare does not always extend across borders.
Using EHIC in Germany
If you are planning to visit Germany, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be a valuable asset. In the unfortunate event that you need to seek healthcare, an EHIC in Germany can be used as a form of cover. If you need medical attention in Germany, you should make sure that you use public healthcare services instead of private healthcare services. The EHIC will provide you with access to public services for free, or at a reduced cost, but it will not cover you for any costs incurred as a result of receiving private treatment. Receiving private healthcare services abroad is guaranteed to leave you with a large bill on top of your other travel expenses.
Health Services in Germany with EHIC
As the public healthcare system in each country differs, so does the uses of the EHIC card. Some countries in the Eurozone may limit the services available to EHIC owners or you may be required to pay a fee. In Germany, your EHIC will cover you for a number of services for free or a small fee. Previously, there was a patient co-payment for GP and dental visits but this was abolished in 2013. Always carry legitimate identification alongside your EHIC in order to receive the healthcare you are entitled to. These services predominantly include dentists (free for under 18s), hospitals, prescriptions, ambulance and air ambulance.
Hospital and prescription services may include a small fee depending on the circumstances. These costs will not be reimbursed by public health services at any point. Having your EHIC is fundamental to ensuring any charges that you do incur are correct based on the service. After using any of the services in Germany, it is important to keep a hold of any paperwork and receipts for future reference. Some private insurance companies may offer a reimbursement for any charges incurred. On the other hand, it is crucial not to rely on this entirely and therefore use private health services instead. With a valid EHIC, you will be entitled to benefit from most of the health services in Germany for free or a reduced fee.
How can I apply for an EHIC?
You can apply for your European Health Insurance Card through our online application service. Each application can also include a partner and up to four dependent children under the age of eighteen. Our team will thoroughly check your application to make sure it is error free and process your application. Upon confirmation of approval, you can expect your EHIC Card to arrive by post in 3-10 working days.