Why has the Hungary GHIC been introduced?
When Britain left the European Union in December 2020, the way we interacted with EU member states like Hungary changed. Some of these political and trade agreements won’t necessarily have a day-to-day impact on our lives, but lots of Brits were concerned about what Brexit would mean for holidays abroad, and whether we would still have the same rights when it came to emergency healthcare. Hungary has always been an immensely popular destination for UK travellers, whether it’s a city break or a stag do – so there’s been a huge interest in what the situation would be for holidaymakers planning a trip to Hungary, post-Brexit.
Since 2004, UK residents travelling to the EU have been able to enjoy the privileges of using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This includes access to the same kind of healthcare that we can get on the NHS, every time we visit Hungary or other EU states. Luckily, thanks to the new agreement, this is still largely the same – although it’s now taken on a new format. The EHIC system has been replaced by the Hungary UK Global Health Insurance Card, which will allow you to claim the same assistance if you need emergency healthcare support in Hungary.
What is the purpose of a Hungary Health Insurance Card?
By applying for a Hungary GHIC card, UK residents can prove that they are entitled to “necessary healthcare” when they need to access part of the state-owned healthcare system in Hungary. So, if you are intending to travel to this beautiful country, it’s really important to make sure that you’ve completed a Hungary GHIC or Germany GHIC card application before you go. That way, you can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery, culture and food without having to worry about what happens if you have an accident or need to get some medical treatment.
What kind of treatment can I access with a Hungary UK GHIC Card?
Whether you’re soaking up the history and culture of Budapest Old Town, or venturing further afield into the beautiful old spa towns like Lake Hévíz, an accident has the potential to ruin your holiday if you aren’t prepared. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that when you’re planning your holiday, you allow enough time to submit a Hungary GHIC application.
Whether you experience an illness or accident, if you can’t wait until you return to the UK to get treatment, that’s where the Hungary UK GHIC card or Greece GHIC card comes in to play. By showing it, you can access emergency healthcare from state-owned healthcare providers in Hungary.
The main intention of the GHIC system is to provide access to emergency care without incurring costs. The most common things that this is useful for include A&E trips, and in particularly serious circumstances, emergency surgery. In some cases, you can seek help for on-going medical needs such as dialysis, but the primary purpose is to support emergency medical situations. This means that it isn’t intended to support people who want to travel to Hungary specifically for the purpose of seeking medical or dental services that they are otherwise struggling to access.
Is a Hungary GHIC an alternative to insurance?
Although it’s important to have a Hungary GHIC or Ireland GHIC card before you travel, so you can prove your residency status, it should definitely not be considered an alternative to appropriate travel insurance. Bear in mind that some elements of the healthcare system are entirely privatised, both in Hungary and in many other parts of the EU. If you’re taking an adventurous hike in the Mescsek, or kayaking on the Danube, you absolutely should have sports and adventure activity insurance in place too. Things like air ambulances and mountain rescue are privatised, and would not be covered by your Hungary GHIC card.
Complete your Hungary GHIC application today
We know that if you’re planning a holiday, the last thing that you want to be worrying about is unnecessary extra admin. That’s why we’ve purposely designed a really simple and easy way to complete your Hungary GHIC application online.
Remember that every family member who is travelling on your holiday to Hungary will need their own Hungary GHIC card. But don’t worry – you can use our system to complete a very straightforward application on behalf of yourself and your spouse or partner, as well as any of your children under the age of 16 who will be coming on your holiday to Hungary.
Who is entitled to apply for a Hungary Health Insurance Card?
The entitlement to a Hungary GHIC comes down to residency, rather than nationality. That means that it isn’t just for UK citizens, but is also open to EU citizens and nationals of any of the four linked states (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) who have lived in the UK, prior to the 1st of January 2021. Family members and your dependent children also automatically have eligibility, so why not start your Hungary GHIC application today to give yourself peace of mind for your next Hungary trip?
What about EHIC cards, aren’t they the same as a Hungary GHIC?
The EHIC scheme was closed to applications when the Brexit deals concluded. UK residents who held a current, in-date EHIC card are permitted to use them until the expiry date. However, since new applications are now closed, anyone wishing to travel to Hungary should consider getting themselves a Hungary UK GHIC card as soon as possible, to ensure that they have a valid Hungary health insurance card for whenever they want to travel.
So, if you have an old EHIC card kicking around with your travel adaptors and spare Euro banknotes, it’s worth checking the expiry date so you know when you need to switch over to the new Hungary GHIC system.
What won’t be covered by the UK Global Health Insurance Card?
The purpose of the scheme is to support any UK residents in Hungary who experience a medical emergency. This might be an accident or a sudden illness. It generally isn’t designed to support anticipated medical procedures, and although issues such as routine and emergency maternity care are covered, the Hungary UK Global Health Insurance Card doesn’t provide permission for an expectant mother to travel to Hungary for the purpose of giving birth there.