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E111 replacement may cause confusion

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26/01/2006

Insurers have voiced fears that the European Health Insurance Card, the replacement for the E111 form, may confuse consumers.

The card replaces the E111 form this month, however, despite the inclusion of the word ‘insurance’ in its name, the EHIC does not offer the same protection as travel insurance. The EHIC entitles holders to free or reduced cost healthcare, depending on the country they are in.

Joanne Field, marketing manager at American Express Travel Insurance, said: “It is a great shame that the word insurance has been included in the name of this new card. Anyone having a serious accident abroad would discover at the worst time possible that this EHIC would not pay for repatriation to Britain, or for the cost of a relative to join and remain with the injured party abroad – costs that good travel insurance will pay out on.”

Travellers must also check which countries are included in the ‘European’ Health Insurance Card – Switzerland is covered, however, Bulgaria and Montenegro are not, for example.

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