English: NHS logoI am livid. Absolutely seeeeething. We’re off on our hols next week so I duly sent off for our ‘free’ European Health Insurance Cards lest anything untoward should happen. Of course this was just one of many jobs I had to do that day, and I was supervising BB’s tea while trying to make her a doctor’s appointment over the phone at the same time.

Which is why, when it came to the end of the online form and asked me for £19.99 for the privilege, I didn’t bat an eyelid. I thought perhaps because it was our first application, or because we’re a family, there’s a charge.

Wrong. They are 100%, totally free. Unless you unwittingly stumble upon an NHS lookalike website and are stupid – and distracted – enough to be conned into handing over your hard earned cash. Like me.

Except that you don’t really have to be that stupid or distracted. Tap ‘EHIC card’ into google and the first site that greets you is a legitimate looking ‘nhs-e111-ehic’ website. It turns out there are a host of agencies who make the application on your behalf and charge you anything from £15 – £30 to do so. And it’s totally legal.

So don’t be a fool like me – make sure you get yours from the NHS themselves here.