Travellers have been urged to make sure they have travel insurance amid fears EHIC could become invalid overnight if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

With the Brexit Halloween deadline looming insurance experts have offered their advice on what to do next.

European Health Insurance Card, known as EHIC, entitles UK citizens to free or discounted healthcare in the EU.

Many travellers may be getting ready for a Christmas or New Year break.

But the Government has said if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31, your EHIC might not be valid anymore.

EHIC and travel insurance

If we leave the EU without a deal there is a chance the EHIC will cease immediately. Holidaymakers are advised to ensure they are buying a suitable travel insurance policy. All travel insurance policies will offer cover for emergency medical expenses, but holidaymakers will need to ensure they declare any existing conditions. Failure to do so could result in a claim being denied. Without the EHIC or a suitable travel insurance policy, holidaymakers who fall ill or sustain an injury abroad could face large medical bills.

Are there treatments I will not be able to get abroad without the EHIC?

Travellers who usually make arrangements for treatment while they are abroad may find it more difficult or expensive to travel to Europe without the EHIC. It was been widely reported that those with kidney related conditions who need daily and regular dialysis would have been covered by the EHIC in the 27 members states before Brexit. If the UK leaves without a deal, those who need dialysis will have to pay, according to reports, an estimated £1,200 for their treatment while on holiday.

Have any countries said they will honour the card?

At the moment, only Spain, Portugal and the Irish Republic have agreed on-going healthcare agreements with the UK if we leave without a deal. However what this will cover and not cover has yet to be clearly defined, so more complicated procedures and long-term care issues may be excluded. It is worth checking before you travel on the facilities available near your holiday resort or location.

Will I still be able to get my medications?

There has been a few alarming headlines since the publication of the Government’s ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ document on whether certain medications will cease to be available post-Brexit. As to which medications will suffer in any predicted shortage, this is unknown at present, but the best advice when travelling is to make sure you take extra supplies. If you are delayed for any reason while travelling, then there may be no opportunity to re-supply on life-saving drugs. However you will need to check your destination and its regulations on travelling with medications. Certain countries will not allow you to enter the country or may even detain you if you are carrying an excessive amount of drugs or pharmaceutical products. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website if you have any worries on the medications you are taking.

Will my travel insurance cover my medication?

There are some travel insurance policies that will offer to cover the cost of prescription medication if your supply is lost or stolen. Others will also cover for additional medication if you are delayed on your return home and run out.

What do the experts say?

Rebecca Kingsley, Brand Manager of consumer awareness initiative Travel Insurance Explained, said: “Holidaying with a medical condition can be a stressful experience for many with long-term conditions.

"The issues surrounding the EHIC’s future are confusing and worrying especially when trying to work out what medications you can take and for how long you might be away from home or access to your doctor.

“The most important thing you need to think about is planning ahead – check the rules and regulations regarding medications before you travel to certain destinations and carry extra supplies in case of delays.

"However do not exceed the regulated amount of drugs you can bring into a country.

"Failure to do so could see you denied entry into the country you are visiting. If anything should happen, if you have bought the right travel insurance policy with then you can rest assured you will be covered.”