Tracey is alerting constituents of websites which are charging for European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs), when they are available free of charge for people who are ordinarily resident in the UK.
Information about the card and how to apply for free can be found at http://www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card or by calling 03003301350.
Tracey said: “As the summer holidays approach, people will be preparing for holidays and applications for EHICs usually rise significantly. I am therefore urging constituents to only apply for EHICs via gov.uk and report any other misleading websites.”
The Government is taking action to tackle websites which are charging for EHICs as well as websites targeting other government services. People often find themselves on these misleading sites by following sponsored advertisements and the Government Digital Service has been working with Google to identify such advertisements which mislead consumers. As a result Google has taken down a series of these advertisements and will continue to remove them and close the accounts with other search engines.
In addition, Jenny Willott, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, recently announced that the National Trading Standards Board will receive an additional £120,000 this financial year to help it in its work to prevent misleading websites offering access to Government services. The extra funding will help identify and investigate the companies behind these sites.
If you know of anyone who has been affected by this issue, please report the misleading website at: www.gov.uk/misleadingwebsites.
Please note: EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance- when travelling within Europe, ensure you have both.