While packing to go on holiday means you’ll be getting organised and gathering all the boarding passes and passports for your trip, having a GHIC with you could help with travel costs should you need it.

Currently, some passengers may still be using an EHIC but what are they and what are they used for?

Here’s everything you need to know about EHICs and GHICs.

What is a GHIC and can EHICs still be used?

The Post Office website explains: "If you fall ill or are injured on a temporary visit to an EU country, a valid Ghic or Ehic will entitle you to the same emergency or necessary state healthcare as its local citizens.

"This often means healthcare would be provided for free or at a much lower cost than they’d be without a valid card."

You might already have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and you can continue to use this until the expiry date printed on the card is reached.

It’s important to note that EHICs and GHICs do not replace travel insurance – you still need to organise insurance before your trip.

Where can you use an EHIC or GHIC?

You can use an EHIC in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

If you're visiting the following places, you can use a GHIC, according to the NHS:

  • A country in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Montenegro
  • Australia
  • Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man
  • St Helena, Tristan and Ascension

If one of the following applies to you, you can use a GHIC in Switzerland:

  • You're a British national
  • You're a Swiss national
  • You're an EU citizen
  • You're a refugee
  • You're a stateless person
  • You're a family member of someone who holds one of the above nationalities or statuses

The UK government wants to add more countries to the list where GHICs can be used so check before you travel.

UK passport renewal guide

How to apply for a GHIC

If you need to apply for a GHIC, you can head to the NHS website.

Applying for a GHIC is free and you should avoid using unofficial websites that could charge you.

When applying for a GHIC, which lasts up to five years, you will need to provide your full name, address, date of birth and national insurance number.

Recommended reading:

Can you apply for a new EHIC?

You can apply for a new EHIC if:

  • "You're living in the EEA or Switzerland and have been since before 1 January 2021 with a registered S1, E121, E106 or E109 form issued by the UK

  • "You're living in the EEA or Switzerland since before 1 January 2021 with an A1 issued by the UK

  • "You're a national of the EEA or Switzerland who has legally resided in the UK since before 1 January 2021 and are covered under the Withdrawal Agreement – you may not be covered if you are also a UK national or if you were born in the UK

  • "You're a family member or dependant of an entitled individual already listed".

You can find out more about travelling abroad via the government website.