There’s a lot of coverage in the press about Brexit at the moment and how everything’s going to change when we finally leave the EU. That’s probably the case, but at the moment it’s still business as usual. Getting an E111 now will still cover you until the process of withdrawing from the UK is fully complete, and perhaps for even longer than that depending on the deal negotiated by the UK government.
Having an E111 could be hugely beneficial if you fall ill while you’re on holiday or business in Europe. E111 covers the countries which make up the EEA, covering all of the EU countries and others like Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. E111 is designed to allow you to access state healthcare provision across any of these countries, which means you can see a GP or be admitted to hospital if you’re seriously ill. You may still be charged a nominal amount for your treatment, but this will be a lot less than treatment in the private sector.
If you have an E111, you can have minor conditions treated, or be admitted straight away in an emergency rather than waiting for your travel insurance company to approve payment for your treatment. E111 will also cover treatment for pre-existing conditions which might be excluded from your travel insurance cover. Some insurers recognise that policy holders having E111 can substantially cut the costs for them too, and some will offer you a discount off your premium if you have E111 cover too.
Everyone travelling needs an E111, children too. Parents can apply for a child’s E111 on their behalf, and children should also take the cards with them if they’re travelling independently of their parents on a school trip or similar. Make sure you take the cards with you when you leave the UK as you won’t be treated without them.