European Health Insurance Card and Brexit?

Where do holidaymakers and expats living in the EU stand with regard to the European Health Insurance Card?

With the confused situation at present, it is hard to say, but in the ‘Brexit White Paper’ published on 12 July 2018, the UK government said it wanted “UK and EU nationals to continue to be able to use the EHIC to receive health care should they need it while on holiday”.

There are also about one million expat UK citizens who live in other countries within the EU. What will happen to their access to healthcare in those EU countries after Brexit?

They are currently eligible for the same healthcare as citizens of the EU country they live in and they can use their EHIC when they travel to another EU country as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, for emergency healthcare.

So far, the EU and UK have provisionally agreed that expats would be able to retain their rights, both on healthcare and the EHIC. The same would apply for EU citizens residing in the UK.

If the UK left with no deal at all, then there could be attempts to put some kind of emergency measures in place for UK citizens, or to agree reciprocal deals with individual EU countries, but it is impossible to say at this point what the outcome might be.

Once the situation becomes clearer, or a deal is struck, we will post the details.