Brits could face £9k bill for getting a stomach bug on holiday when EHIC cards expire next year

GETTING sick on holiday will cost you a lot more from January with EHICs expiring when the UK leaves the EU.

Families could face huge bills just for getting a stomach ache or breaking a bone.

Currently, EHICs (which stand for European Health Insurance Cards) allow Brits to get the same medical treatment on holiday as locals would, without huge costs.

While families are still urged to take out travel insurance when on holiday in Europe, many minor problems are covered for free.

However, with EHICs to expire from December 31, Brits will then have to pay the full cost of the problems if they don't have insurance – something one in five admit to not buying.

For example, a hospital bill for getting a stomach bug, according to research by Which?, could cost up to £9,000.

Even simple food poisoning treatments can cost up to £2,000 in Greece and Spain, while treatment for stitches can cost up to £500.

Costs of hospital treatments abroad, according to travel insurers

  • Stitches – up to £500
  • Food poisoning – £1,500 in France, £2,000 in Spain or Greece
  • Broken leg – £4,000 in Greece, £7,500 in France
  • Dislocated hip – up to £8,300 in Spain
  • Heart attack – £12,000 in Spain, £14,000 in France

Broken bones are one of the most common injuries when on holiday, which will set you back £7,500 in France if you break your leg.

Holidaymakers are being urged to get travel insurance when travelling next year to avoid the steep charges.

Travel insurance also covers other holiday complaints such as lost luggage or holiday cancellations.

The price of buying travel insurance may also go up next year as British holidaymakers look to rely on their policies more for medical treatment.

The UK government is currently working on drawing up agreements with other countries inside the EU that will mean UK tourists' emergency medical costs are covered when they visit.

Trade body the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) previously said it was "hopeful" these agreements will go ahead, and they could keep the price of travel insurance low when visiting these countries.

Mr Daley says the only way he expects Brexit to have an impact on the price of travel insurance is if these deals fall through or are not drawn up in time for the deadline.

We've explained everything you need to consider when booking a holiday in 2021.

You can also get 54 days of annual leave next year, using just 24 days here is how.

However, soaring demand means you may be faced with pricier holidays with less choice in 2021.

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