The European Commission has announced that 180 million people now hold one of the European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC).
Issued between 2004 and 2005 to replace the E111, the card allows its holder access to healthcare treatment in other European countries.
Despite being popular, some countries such as Greece have taken less well to the initiative – according to the commission, just one per cent of Greeks are card holders.
The EHIC card is free and helps people get access to services if they are on holiday, visiting for work or studying.
However, it is up to each country to decide how long the card stays valid for.
The Department of Health has warned UK travellers not to venture abroad without an EHIC.
People looking to stay for more lengthy periods or hoping to make a permanent move should look for more comprehensive expatriate medical insurance.
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