Healthcare and the Germany GHIC, post-Brexit
On December 31st 2020, the UK bid farewell to the European Union. Although our political and trade ties to the EU now look different, one of the aspects that has given a lot of Brits the most cause for concern is what would happen to healthcare provision for travellers to popular EU travel hotspots like Germany. Steeped in history, and with incredible food and culture on offer all year round, Germany is high up the list of most popular travel destinations for UK visitors.
The good news is that the agreements put in place have retained our rights as UK residents to access the healthcare system for emergency treatment in any EU member state we visit, including Germany. The current EHIC system has been overhauled, and the Germany GHIC has been introduced, as a means for UK visitors to prove their status.
What is a German UK GHIC Card?
A German GHIC card is designed to help UK citizens prove their entitlement to “necessary healthcare” from the state-owned healthcare system in Germany. If you are taken ill whilst you are travelling, the German UK GHIC card is a crucial asset, so it’s critical to make sure that you’ve completed the necessary Germany GHIC or Cyprus GHIC card application and got your card all ready to go before you travel.
What am I entitled to claim using a Germany UK GHIC Card?
Whether you’re popping over for a quick city break, taking in the history or exploring the Black Forest, it’s sometimes the unfortunate case that you may experience a medical issue, or have an accident whilst on holiday. That’s where the Germany GHIC card comes in. If you need urgent treatment, which is something that cannot wait until you get back to the UK to be dealt with, then you can visit a state-owned healthcare provider in Germany. Showing your Germany GHIC card or Czech Republic GHIC card proves that you are a UK resident, and means that you can access emergency healthcare without incurring a cost.
This is largely geared towards helping people who need treatment or help following an accident. It might include things like a trip to A&E, or emergency surgery. In some cases, with specific arrangements in place, your Germany GHIC may be able to help you access routine treatment for long-term, pre-existing conditions like dialysis or oxygen treatment. However, it is not intended, and cannot be used to specifically travel to Germany to receive medical treatment.
Medical cover during travel with your Germany GHIC Card
The great thing about the Germany UK GHIC Card is that it also covers you if you are taken ill during your travel. So, whether you are flying, driving or just hopping on the Eurostar train and are taken ill or have an accident en route, you will still be covered to receive medical support once you arrive at your destination in Germany.
How to complete Germany GHIC application
We’ve made it really simple and stress-free to make a Germany GHIC application. Because every member of your family will need their own Germany GHIC card for your planned holiday, we’ve made it straightforward to submit an application on behalf of yourself, your partner, and any children under the age of 16 who will be travelling with you.
Interestingly, the entitlement to a Germany GHIC Card or Demark GHIC card isn’t based on nationality – it is focused on residency. This means that you are also eligible to apply for a Germany GHIC using our specific Germany GHIC application if you are an EU citizen, or national of one of the four linked states (Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and you have been living in the UK prior to 1 January 2021. Your dependents and family members are also eligible – so what are you waiting for? Apply today and ensure peace of mind for your next exciting holiday to Germany.
I have an EHIC, do I still need a Germany GHIC?
For many of us, European travel has been a popular pastime. Alongside the travel adaptors and stash of Euro banknotes, travellers who have previously been fans of German travel might well find that they’ve still got a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) tucked away in the back of their wallet.
Whilst the UK and EU debated the finer points of the Brexit terms, there was an indication that all existing EHIC cards would expire at the point that the UK left the EU, on 31st December 2020. In fact, during the negotiations, the UK was granted a temporary reprise, and existing EHIC cards will be valid until they expire. However, the government advises that as soon as you plan on travelling to Germany, you should ensure you have a valid form of Health Insurance Card, and for many people, this will mean that it’s vital to arrange a Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card prior to visiting Germany.
Is there anything not covered by the Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card?
In general, the Germany UK GHIC card is designed to help with emergency treatment. It is not intended for individuals who want to travel to Germany to receive a specific kind of medical treatment which is not available in the UK, or which they are unable to access in their home country.
Things like routine maternity care are covered, however, it is important to note that the Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card will not provide appropriate coverage for an expectant mother to travel to Germany with the intention of giving birth abroad.
Do I still need travel insurance if I have a Germany GHIC?
The short answer is yes. Holding a Germany GHIC is not a substitute for having appropriate insurance in place. That being said, a Germany GHIC card is an absolute necessity for being able to prove that you are a UK resident, and are thus entitled to emergency medical care.
There are some elements of the German medical system which are entirely privatised. The most likely situation that you will come across these systems is if you are a fan of skiing or other winter sports. Of course, Germany is famed for having some incredible ski slopes, and a whole range of other adventurous activities on offer all year round. Medical services like mountain evacuation or helicopter ambulances are privatised, so you will not be able to claim the cost of these using your Germany GHIC. You should ensure that you hold appropriate travel insurance and specialist winter sports insurance if you plan on hitting the slopes.