Is European Health Insurance Enough?

May 14th, 2015
Is European Health Insurance Enough?

Many Brits will go abroad to work in Europe this year, safe in the knowledge that should they have a serious accident, their EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) provided by their employer will cover them.

However, employment benefit experts are suggesting that unless you check specifically, it could be dangerous to assume that the EHIC will cover you. It depends on what your employer has paid for and the level of cover they are prepared to provide.

In most cases, the EHIC will only provide access to the state run facilities in the area. These can have long wait times, and potential language barriers. The EHIC will not provide private health care access.

The EHIC may also not provide for longer term care if it is needed. It may cover an employee for a brief trip to an emergency room or an overnight stay, but a long surgery and weeks of recovery time may push the boundaries of what the EHIC will cover.

Business travellers may have their own private insurance, but must be made aware that many insurance companies will not insure them if they move abroad. Many policies taken out in the UK only apply to the holder if they stay in the UK. The risks and dangers taken into account could change completely, which seriously affects the insurance.

Several countries that experience a high volume of business and ex-pat travel have started to enact legislation that requires those entering the country to comply with specific insurance laws. In areas that see particularly high numbers of foreign visitors, local state healthcare systems can be overloaded by people not paying for the services. These countries would like those visiting to have their own private health insurance that will mean the local state systems can stay freed up for natives of that country.

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