A friend of little big explorers had a terrible experience and unfortunately her son needed surgery while they were abroad. While we were on our Christmas holiday last December nearly every day someone was unwell and we even needed the services of the National Health Centre in the UK. Apart from paying for a good insurance, I suggest you apply for the European Medical Card. This card will help you if and when you need medical assistance. You won’t have your support system with you but this card is a must if you need peace of mind.
When you are in a foreign country if something goes wrong you need all the help you can get. The European Health Insurance Card is the passport to free or reduced cost medical treatment needed during temporary visits in some European countries. Some of these countries are; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom (including Gibraltar) and many more. For the full list download the pdf from the website here. The purpose of the European Health Insurance Card is to facilitate access to medical care during the holder’s temporary stay in another Member State, and to speed up reimbursement of the costs incurred. It does not contain any medical information about the holder (e.g. blood group, medical history, etc.)
Who can get the European Health Insurance Card?
Basically all those that pay NI or have/had paid and are on a Maltese Pension can benefit from this. Even widows/widowers can also and not only, even refugees can apply for the European Health Insurance Card. Make sure you check out the pdf mentioned above to see if you are entitled. To make things even easier, it is absolutely free.
How do you get the European Health Insurance Card?
You can apply online: www.ehealth.gov.mt if you have an e-ID. If you do not have an e-ID you can collect the application form from the Entitlement Unit or from your Local Council. Every member of the family, older than 16 years old, should have one. Make sure the form reaches the Entitlement Unit at least fifteen days before your departure date.
Every country has different regulations, make sure you get to know the arrangement of the country you will be visiting and what you are entitled to before you leave your home country. We went to a walk in clinic in the UK this Christmas as I needed to see a doctor but, our friend did. It depends on the severity of the case I suppose. If you live in Malta but pay your National Insurance in another European country check with that country and apply for the European Health Insurance Card there.
Our friend needed the card and fortunately had it! If she didn’t have it she would have had to pay over €1000 euro. Thanks to the European Medical Insurance Card she didn’t pay a single cent. This card only covers the cost of medical treatment. It doesn’t provide cover for a number of things that travel insurance does. The card doesn’t cost you anything, make sure you have it before you travel on your next holiday.
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