I renewed EHIC cards for relatives recently and was surprised at the number of websites that offer to do this but charge for the privilege. It is free to obtain a new EHIC card and renew it when it expires. Be vigilant…only use the official NHS website when online.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006.
Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth. For more information
The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland.
Gill Charlton, consumer expert on the Daily Telegraph travel website says that some Google ads can be confusing – watch out for similar scams when searching for the official American and Australian tourist visa application sites. The EHIC confirms your right, as a citizen of an EEA country (30 European countries including Switzerland), to emergency medical treatment under the health system of another member country. You do not have to pay for an EHIC, which can be obtained or renewed free of charge by calling 0845 606 2030 or applying online at www.ehic.org.uk or using the previous link. Both of these are secure links that divert to the correct page within the main nhs.uk website.
The cards are valid for five years, after which they can be renewed, again, free of charge.