What is the Poland UK Global Health Insurance Card?
So you’ve packed your passport, got your currency exchanged, and even found your European travel adaptors… but there’s one other crucial thing that you need to make sure you’ve got packed before you head off to Poland. The Poland GHIC card was introduced as a way for UK residents to prove their entitlement to healthcare, if they have an accident or emergency whilst they are on holiday in Poland. So whether you’re popping over for a city break to Krakow, or exploring the Tatra Mountains – make sure you’ve got your Poland GHIC all sorted before you go, so you can enjoy a stress-free holiday.
When was the Poland GHIC introduced?
After many years of negotiations and planning, the UK left the EU at the end of December 2020. There was a lot of debate about whether UK residents would retain their rights to access emergency healthcare when they visited EU member states. The good news is that an agreement was reached, and it was decided that UK residents would still be able to access necessary medical treatment in Poland, and other European destinations.
However, the existing EHIC system was overhauled, and in 2021 the Global Health Insurance Card was introduced. That means that when you’re planning your next Polish getaway, it’s well worth making sure that you are fully up to speed with how the system has changed – so you can make sure that you have exactly the right Poland Global Health Insurance.
Why do I need a Poland UK GHIC card before I go on holiday there?
Accidents can happen even on the best-planned holiday. If you or a member of your family need to seek treatment whilst you are in Poland, you’ll need to be able to show that you have a valid Poland GHIC Card. This will allow you to prove your nationality to the doctors and medical administrative staff in Poland, and means that you won’t get hit with a sudden and unwelcome bill for your treatment.
What kind of healthcare is covered by the Poland GHIC?
The system has been put in place to help travellers who need urgent medical care. This is generally taken to mean situations in which treatment is needed immediately – things that can’t wait until you get back to the UK. Luckily Poland is an extremely safe country for travellers, but that doesn’t mean that the occasional unlucky holidaymaker won’t end up having an accident or coming down with a serious illness during their travels.
The most common uses for a Poland UK Global Health Insurance Card or Finland GHIC card is for A&E trips, emergency surgery and hospital in-patient stays, as well as some routine and emergency maternal services. Some treatments for chronic conditions, including dialysis, can be pre-arranged with Polish hospitals, and claimed under the Poland GHIC. The scheme is not intended to encourage people to travel to Poland specifically for the purpose of seeking medical attention.
The interaction between the Poland GHIC and travel insurance
Whilst a Poland UK GHIC or France GHIC card is an absolute must, it’s also important to think about your travel insurance needs. Having a Poland GHIC isn’t a substitute for having appropriate travel insurance – particularly if you’re planning on taking part in some of the many adventurous activities that Poland has to offer.
In fact, Poland is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s up and coming skiing resorts. If you’re hitting the slopes in Szczyrk, or taking in the gentle ski trails in Zakopane – you should check that you have the necessary winter sports insurance. Don’t forget that in many instances, the type of emergency medical care provided on the mountains – things like air ambulance, and mountain rescue – are privatised. This means that you won’t be able to recoup the cost through the Poland UK GHIC card, so your travel insurance is going to be really important if you do have an accident on the slopes.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that travel insurance protects you against other problems, beyond the healthcare provisioned by the Poland GHIC or Germany GHIC card. Whether it’s flight delays, lost luggage, or damage to your belongings – you need travel insurance to cover these problems.
Start your Poland GHIC application right away
Of course, when you’re planning an exciting holiday in Poland, you want to be able to focus on the fun parts, like working out what tourist sites to visit, and finding yourself some amazing accommodation. The last thing you need is extra admin, which is why we’ve worked hard to make the system as simple as possible for you to complete your Poland GHIC application quickly and easily. Simply use our online portal and before you know it, your Poland GHIC card will be winging its way to you, and you can relax and enjoy sorting out the rest of your holiday plans without having to worry.
Do my children need a Poland UK GHIC card too?
Yes. Every member of your family will need their own Poland GHIC card during the holiday. Luckily our online Poland GHIC application service makes it really easy for you to apply for Poland GHIC cards for your whole family, so the system really is as stress-free as possible.
Is an EHIC the same as a Poland GHIC?
No. The EHIC scheme was rendered redundant when Britain left the EU. No new EHIC cards will be issued to UK residents. If you have an active EHIC card it is only valid until the date given on the card, so check this carefully to make sure that you aren’t inadvertently travelling without a valid Poland Health Insurance Card.
How do I check whether I am eligible to make a Poland GHIC application
Eligibility is actually down to residency rather than nationality. That means that UK citizens, but also EU citizens who have been resident in the UK prior to 1st January 2021 are able to apply. In some circumstances, people who hold dual citizenship of the UK and another EU member state are also eligible to apply for a UK-issued Poland GHIC. If you are eligible for a Poland GHIC, you can also apply for a card on behalf of your dependent children, under the age of 16.