As of 31 December 2005, E111 forms are replaced by a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This means from 1 January 2006 an EHIC is required should you need to receive healthcare during your visit to an EEA country or Switzerland.
How to apply for an EHIC:
- online by visiting www.dh.gov.uk/travellers. Your card will be delivered within 7 days
- by calling the EHIC Applications Line on 0845 606 2030. Your card will be delivered within 10 days
- by post - pick up an EHIC application pack from your local Post Office branch. Your card will be delivered within 21 days
The EHIC is normally valid for 3-5 years. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only and you will be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you are visiting.
This might not cover all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK.
The EHIC will not cover you if getting medical treatment is the main purpose of your trip.