Germany is a well-established destination for holidaymakers, with excellent accommodation and transport and a high proportion of English speakers. Its regions are diverse and offer something for solo adventurers, couples, families and even honeymooners!
No matter how practical and well organised your trip is though, there is always a possibility of facing injury or illness. Previously, you could use something called a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get free or reduced-price health services on holidays or business trips to Germany. However, you can no longer apply for EHICs, as the UK is no longer part of the EU.
This guide explains what a Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card, how to apply for it, and what sort of things it covers.
Do you really need a Germany UK GHIC card?
No matter how short your stay is in Germany, it is highly recommended that you make a Germany GHIC application well before your travel date.
Let’s be honest, though Germany is a wonderful place for vacations and breaks, there is always a possibility that you may need health care of some kind.
Cycling and road trips are popular in this Western European country, as the forests, mountain ranges and coastal areas are beguiling. River cruises along the Rhine and Maine will take you through breathtaking countryside, past ancient castles and alongside lush vineyards. Hopefully, you will only make the best memories, but all of these activities could result in some form of injury, making a Germany GHIC card or Cyprus GHIC card vital.
Maybe you plan to travel to Germany to make the most of this nation’s love of carnivals and festivals, including many dedicated to beers, wines and fine food. These draw people back year after year. Munich’s Oktoberfest enables you to soak up Bavarian cuisine, beverages and culture while listening to lederhosen-clad ‘Oompah Bands’.
Or you could go to Bachfest in Leipzig, or the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, to celebrate the joys of classical music. Maybe the globally famous Frankfurt Book Fair is more of interest.
Munich is a popular tourist destination year-round, as it is packed with heritage, retail opportunities and urban charm. Then, of course, there’s Berlin, with its stellar nightlife that includes experiences for both open-minded and less adventurous visitors. Hamburg too is lively and cosmopolitan, but it also sits alongside the lovely River Elbe, a network of canals and Lake Alster.
When visiting any of these wonderful German holiday destinations, you will enjoy greater peace of mind if you have a Germany Health Insurance Card. Your German GHIC and Czech Republic GHIC card will also reduce the cost of any health services you need to access right across this wonderful country.
Using a Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card
In an emergency in Germany, you would ring 112 and you would be taken to a ‘Notaufnahme’, which is an Accident and emergency department. You will receive treatment free when you present your German GHIC card. However, there may be some charges for some hospital services and overnight stays. The same applies if a doctor refers you to a hospital for treatment.
To use a Germany Health Insurance Card to get help from a doctor or dentist, present the card to them on arrival. They must be a medical professional who comes under the German health insurance fund. Look for signs that say ‘Kassenarzt’ or ‘Alle Kassen’. As they are state-funded, they can provide free treatment under the terms of your Germany UK GHIC card. However, please note that some of their services may be chargeable under their own country’s healthcare system.
It is worth emphasising that your Germany GHIC or Demark GHIC card is not valid for private practitioners or private hospitals!
If you need a prescription or ambulance transport, your Germany GHIC card may make this free, or you may have to pay a small percentage of the cost.
As the GHIC scheme is new, this information may be subject to change. However, it is likely that you won’t have to pay for medical help upfront if you have a Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card. Any additional costs you pay as part of local pricing systems are not reimbursable.
Lost, stolen or forgotten Germany Health Insurance Card
What happens if you can’t show your Germany GHIC card while on holiday or a business trip in this country? As long as you completed your Germany GHIC application it is still possible to prove you qualify for free or reduced-cost health services. If your card is not available for any reason while in Germany, you need to ring NHS Overseas Healthcare Services on telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999.
Using your national insurance number, they can issue a Provisional Replacement Certificate. This PRC acts as a temporary Germany GHIC. This service is only available Monday to Friday, 8 am-6 pm.
How to apply for a Germany GHIC card
Your Germany GHIC application will be processed by the NHS. You can either go direct to the relevant website or use a specialist agency to make the whole process quick and easy.
Eligibility for a Germany GHIC (which you can then use in other EU countries) us straightforward. You need to be able to prove your identity, address and UK citizenship.
Germany GHIC Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a Germany GHIC card if I have an EHIC?
You don’t need to apply for a Germany UK GHIC card if you have an existing EHIC that is still in date. However, if this is a new application or your EHIC has expired, you must obtain a Germany GHIC to benefit from these health privileges while visiting Germany.
Does my Germany Health Insurance Card cover treatment for my kids?
You need to apply for a Germany UK Global Health Insurance Card for yourself, and separate ones for your family members. For each person, you will need to provide evidence of their identity, address and citizenship of the UK.
Do I still need travel insurance with a Germany GHIC?
A still valid EHIC or new GHIC for travel to Germany does not replace travel insurance. The two go hand in hand. Travel insurance covers a range of eventualities and issues. Your Germany EHIC helps you to get free and reduced cost treatment, and some travel insurance companies insist that you have one.