There’s a range of options when it comes to applying for your EHIC. The method you choose will depend very much on the way you prefer doing things, and there really are no rights and wrongs. There’s sometimes criticism of people who choose to use a third party application service for their EHIC, given that third party websites charge fees and a standard application direct from the NHS is free. However, most third party sites offer a wide range of services above and beyond the basic, which many customers feel is worth paying for.
Check and send – third party websites will go through your submitted information before sending it off, checking for errors and avoiding delays due to forms which have not been completed correctly. This could be particularly valuable if you have left it late to apply for your EHIC and need to make sure the cards arrive before you leave.
Renewals – the expiry date of your EHIC will be clearly printed on the card, but the NHS will not call or email you to let you know that it’s time to apply for a new card. Most third party websites offer this service, or something very similar.
Assistance and advice – if you struggle with completing the paperwork associated with EHIC, need clarification about how the system works or whether you qualify, most third party websites run helplines as well as email enquiries to answer any questions you might have about the process.
Web portal – many third party websites will set you up with a secure login ID and password which allows you to log back into the website at any point in the future should you need to update your details or apply for an EHIC for a new child who has recently been born.