Holidaymakers are still confused by the benefits of the EHIC card, 10 years after it was introduced.
A survey of 2,005 Brits by GoCompare.com found 54% of consumers think the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) means they are entitled to free medical care anywhere in Europe, while 13% had not even heard of it.
Its survey, which has been carried out as the EHIC reaches its 10th anniversary, also found 6% think that holding an EHIC means they don’t need insurance in Europe.
In reality, an EHIC means the holder will receive the same level of state medical care provided to those that live in the country, meaning it could be free or come at a cost depending on where the person is.
GoCompare also raised concerns about websites that claim to offer EHICs for a paid cost. EHICs are free to own and can be obtained online at www.ehic.org.uk.
“Despite being around for 10 years there’s still a lot of confusion about what benefits an EHIC can and can’t provide. Whilst it is an essential piece of plastic to take to Europe, only travel insurance can give you the assurance that if disaster strikes you can pay for your treatment wherever you are or be transferred back to a UK hospital if appropriate for your care,” said Caroline Lloyd, travel insurance spokesperson at Gocompare.com.