MONEY saving expert Martin Lewis has issued a warning to holidaymakers that could save them thousands this year.
When heading abroad, there's so much to prepare and it can be easy to forget some important things.
However, forgetting to sort out the right medical cover could be a costly mistake, should anything happen to you abroad.
One way in which you can get some level of cover is with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which covers travellers who need medical treatment in either a state-run hospital or GP practice abroad.
Prior to Brexit, Brits were able to use EHICs (European Health Insurance Card) but that has now changed.
Instead, Brits will now need to get a GHIC to ensure they are covered.
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Speaking to 5Live, Martin Lewis said getting the right card is "absolutely crucial“.
He said: "It can help mean that you don't have to pay the excess on your travel insurance. It means you can go and use a GP for free.”
While new applicants need to get a GHIC instead of an EHIC, those with existing EHICs can use them until they've expired.
The UK Government website says: "If you have an existing EHIC, it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card.
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"You can apply for a new card up to 6 months before your current card expires."
Those applying for a new card will need to apply for the GHIC, instead of the EHIC.
Holidaymakers will often still have to pay for medical treatment abroad even with the card, but it will be at a significantly reduced rate.
According to consumer experts Which? the average processing time for a GHIC application was 20 working days at the end of September.
Although they do help with costs, the cards are not an outright replacement for travel insurance and both will be needed in order for medical emergencies to be fully covered.
The cards are only used for necessary medical treatment and not for non-urgent care.
Anyone who has an EHIC or GHIC, but forgets to take it with them can apply for a provisional replacement certificate (PRC) by contacting NHS Overseas Healthcare Services (NHSOHS).
Which? explains that sometimes, even with the cards, people will be expected to pay for their treatment in full, but the Ghics mean they can claim a refund at a later date.
That can also be done via the NHSOHS website.
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Meanwhile, this is everything you need to know about getting a GHIC in 2023.
And this backpacker warned other Brits about getting travel insurance after picking up a huge bill on holiday.
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