Watch Out for Scams on the EHIC Card
It’s incredible just how scammers can spot an opportunity; one such area they’ve recently moved into is that of the EHIC card. A quick refresher Just in case you didn’t know it, if...
It’s incredible just how scammers can spot an opportunity; one such area they’ve recently moved into is that of the EHIC card.
A quick refresher
Just in case you didn’t know it, if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom and are travelling to another European Union country, then any emergency treatment medical costs you incur will typically be paid for free of charge under the European Health Insurance Card system.
Where the scams operate
The EHIC card is available entirely free of charge from the NHS and can be applied for through their website. You have nothing at all to pay. Unfortunately, some opportunists consistently offer services relating to ‘obtaining’ this card for you and they will typically charge you a fee for doing so.
Although this article should not be seen as qualified legal advice, there does not appear to be anything obviously illegal about this. What you should be questioning though is why you are paying someone to do something for you that you could do yourself for free at the click of a few buttons on the NHS website?
What makes some of these services objectionable is that they may imply that somehow this process of getting an EHIC card is difficult, complicated or bureaucratic and that they will be doing something to help you cut through all that and obtain a card quicker than you could get it yourself. That is misleading.
The process is simple and straightforward for the vast majority of applicants. There are however a few potential complications that can arise.
In all these cases, there are procedures and processes to follow which are comprehensively dealt with on the web site of the NHS. You should not need to pay any third party to intervene on your behalf or to act as an intermediary between you and the National Health Service. In some cases, your citizens’ advice bureau may be able to offer you specific advice on some of the above scenarios.
The EHIC card is essentially a very simple system and it is a great shame these scams are being perpetrated. If you are in any doubt whatsoever, try contacting the NHS through their above-mentioned website.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
P.K. Chong is the Managing Director of All About EHIC. As a major insurance authority, we provide information and top up insurance for those travellers with an EHIC card, (European Health Insurance Card). Our excellent top up insurance covers issues not covered by the EHIC card.