With gorgeous architecture, breath-taking scenery, and the chance to indulge in a romantic, blissful atmosphere, Hungary remains a popular tourist destination, and there are a plethora of sites to visit, landscapes to marvel at, and history to discover. While enjoying the incredible sites, it is important to ensure that British holidaymakers have considered the implications of the UK’s recent departure from the EU; a decision which is sure to have repercussions on accessing healthcare across the countries of the European Union. The Hungary GHIC card is one option which could alleviate some of your stress and confusion – but just what does it involve?
What Is A Hungary GHIC Card?
2021 sees the arrival of the Hungary UK GHIC card; the updated version of its predecessor, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which originally launched in 2006. The EHIC allowed those in possession access state medical care free of charge, across all 27 countries of the EU, in addition to the four member states making up the European Free Trade Area – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway.
The original EHIC became invalid at the end of 2020, to be replaced by the Hungary UK GHIC card. It should be noted, however, that anyone who received a new EHIC during 2020 will still be able to access healthcare as normal for the duration of the card – five years from the date of purchase. This depends, of course, on any changes to legislation which may occur. If you did not apply for your new card before the cut-off, you will need to ensure that you have purchased travel insurance before you head off to visit EU countries.
What Does The Hungary GHIC Cover Include?
The Hungary GHIC and Germany GHIC card offers the updated version of the original EHIC scheme. In a similar manner to its predecessor, it offers access to no or low cost healthcare across all EU countries. Access will be granted provided that the medical treatment is required due to an illness or accident. Holders are also protected and covered for routine maternity care, as well as any pre-existing health issues which may have already been in place prior to the trip. In a sense, the GHIC can act as your Greek Health Insurance Card.
Does The Hungary UK GHIC Card Have Any Exemptions?
The Hungry GHIC Card and Greece GHIC card is designed to offer access to free or reduced cost healthcare, but it is not a catch-all solution. Travellers will still need to ensure that they purchase full private travel insurance, to ensure that the exclusions are covered. Some of the exemptions include:
– Private medical healthcare
– Costs for treatment required on cruises
– Being flown back to the UK
– Access to mountain rescue services and assistance if you are injured at a ski resort.
– Health tourism – travel to a country with the sole intention of receiving medical treatment.
– Air ambulances – costs can reach between £15,000 and £30,000, depending on the distance between your location and the UK. This could make getting home for treatment very difficult, and you will need health insurance to cover this.
Do I Need Private Insurance As Well As A Hungary Health Insurance Card?
According to a recent survey by ABTA, around 20% of British citizens fail to take out private health insurance cover for a trip to an EU country, despite stats showing that one in every eight people have an accident or fall ill during their holiday.
Some of the most common causes for injuries or illnesses which need medical treatment include broken bones, sprains or torn ligaments,
stomach complaints, fever or infections. You may also need to be flown home for treatment, and chances are that your Hungary health insurance card will not be enough – you will need to ensure that you have private insurance.
You should always obtain private insurance in addition to a Hungary UK global insurance health card, and purchase a policy which covers any needs you may encounter on your holiday. Make sure that you understand what you are covered for, and any restrictions, exemptions or exclusions which may apply to the policy. Always read the small print; travel insurance is notoriously tricky, and often includes obscure restrictions or situations where cover will not be offered.
This is especially important if you are used to the cover offered by the Hungary UK global health insurance card or its predecessor, the EHIC – you may assume that certain elements are protected when this is not the case.
How Do I Start My Hungary GHIC application?
If you are in possession of an old-style EHIC, purchased in 2020, you can continue to use the card to access medical care across the 27 EU countries until the expiration date – this is dependent on any alternations to the existing legislation.
If, however, you missed the cut-off, you will need to reapply for a new style Hungary GHIC card or Ireland GHIC card. This is a painless process; head over to the GHIC site, click on the option to apply, and complete the short form with details including name, address and national insurance number. Once your application is complete, you will need to wait for approval, and will receive your new card shortly after this.
Hungary GHIC Card FAQs
Will I still need private healthcare if I have a global insurance health card?
Yes, you will still need to purchase private travel health insurance, even if you have a GHIC. This is because there are certain exemptions and exceptions not covered by the scheme, and you will need to make sure that you are fully protected under your own insurance policy.
Can I continue to use my EHIC card?
Anyone who obtained an EHIC card will be able to continue to use this until the expiration – they last for a period of 5 years. This includes individuals who purchased a new card at the end of 2020 – in this case, you will be able to use your EHIC until 2025, when the card expires.
How does this impact any EU citizens living in the UK?
With around 3.7 million EU nationals in the UK (around 5.6% of the total population), it is important to note that these individuals have an ongoing right to healthcare. Any EU citizen who resided in Britain prior to 31st December 2020 will still have the right to use the NHS for access to treatment all the time they are in the UK. They are also permitted to access low or no cost medical treatment in the EU using their EHIC or GHIC. The new style GHIC will be open for applications in 2021.