Germany is a very popular holiday destination for people from the UK, and especially for those not wanting to deal with long flights and big time differences. With stunning scenery, an interesting culture and some great food, Germany has lots to offer. As with any kind of foreign travel, adequate travel insurance is essential when heading to Germany, and annual travel insurance is a cost effective choice if you are planning to make more than one foreign trip in a year. |
What if You Have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Of course, because Germany is in the EU, the EHIC card is accepted documentation and entitles you to certain medical treatments. It is therefore essential that you have a valid EHIC when travelling. Having said that, reciprocal healthcare only entitles you to state-funded treatment, and Germany has its own set of regulations when it comes to what is covered. That is why supplementary travel insurance is vital.
What the EHIC Covers
Should you require a GP when in Germany, choose one that has the Kassenarzt or Alle Kassen sign clearly marked. This indicates that the practice is state-funded and at these GPs, as long as you have your EHIC, you will only be asked to pay a co-payment, which is a minimal contribution for your healthcare. Having single trip or annual travel insurance, however, means that you are covered by all GPs so you don’t have to worry.
Obtaining prescriptions when in another country can be stressful, especially if you do not speak the language. Your GP will provide you with the necessary paperwork, so as long as you give it to the pharmacist, they will make sure you get the correct medicine. Most medication requires a 10% payment of the total cost, but you will never pay more than 10 euros. Regular medicines such as painkillers require the full payment however.
When you think about going away on holiday, you are unlikely to envisage a hospital visit, but it is best to be aware of the procedure and what you are entitled to, just in case. Annual travel insurance or indeed a single trip policy provides you with the most autonomy. If you rely exclusively on your EHIC in Germany then you’ll need to find a state-funded hospital and get yourself a doctor’s referral before you go.
Some Extra Information
Remember that the EHIC only covers you for limited periods. If you plan to move to Germany you will need to register with the statuary health insurance fund. You will then receive an insurance card for your healthcare provision. It is best to do this rather than rely on annual travel insurance.
Ambulances are covered in Germany with a valid EHIC, as long as a doctor deems its use necessary. Insurance policies will each have their own list of what is covered so make sure you read the information carefully and take all documentation with you.
Travelling with children is often a worry when it comes to insurance. To put your mind at rest it is wise to purchase family annual travel insurance. For basic treatment though, every child under 18 who has a valid EHIC is exempt from paying for prescriptions and paying the co-payment charges.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip and annual travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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