Brits risk huge health bills in this European country where EHIC is not valid

Brits risk huge health bills in this European country where EHIC is not valid

Brexit and the impact of a no deal exit from the European Union has caused travel insurance worries for Britons. Those travelling post October 31, when the UK is set to leave the EU, are currently in the dark as to what medical costs will await. Currently EHIC, a card, which is of credit card size and blue in colour, is issued free of charge and allows residents of the UK to receive medical treatment in another member state free or at a reduced cost. This will not be valid after Brexit in a no deal scenario yet, in news which might surprise some travellers to Europe, there is one location where it cannot be used even now.

The location is next to Italy, with its residents speaking Italian and tourists needing to pass through the EU state in order to gain entry, which might make the reveal the more shocking – and costly – for some.

This location is San Marino, a microstate surrounded by north central Italy.

Its capital is also called San Marino and tourists flock to the location for its called old town, narrow cobbled streets and castles.

The slopes of Monte Titan are also a significant attraction.

Yet should UK travellers fall unwell during their trip, unless they have taken out insurance, they may be supported.

The FCO has issued an updated warning to Britons advising them they must take action ahead of their trip.

In a new update, the advice states: “Around 6,000 British nationals visit San Marino every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

“The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in San Marino.

“Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.”

It then offers handy advice, and contact details, and adds: “The emergency services numbers in San Marino are: 112/113 (emergency service, gendarmerie), 115 (public safety, fire department, local police), 118 (emergency ambulance and medical services).

“Consular support is not available from the British government in San Marino.

“However, the British Embassy in Rome, Italy can provide consular support to British nationals.”

Meanwhile, in January the UK Government published new guidance on the validity of EHIC in light of Brexit, which is scheduled to see the UK’s political and geographic divorce from the EU on October 31.

This came as research by Columbus Direct Travel Insurance revealed many are potentially risking their health this summer, with a total of 54 per cent confused over the document’s terms and conditions.

The company polled 2,500 of its customers after the guidelines were published, with 75 per cent saying they had already booked a summer holiday to Europe.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent say they will continue to travel to Europe regardless of the outcome of Brexit – and despite being unsure whether their health is covered.

Published at Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:11:00 +0000