The future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a subject which concerns many UK citizens and was discussed during the recent Brexit talks that started in June. What does the card cover – and how can you ensure that you have access to healthcare after Britain leaves the EU?
EHIC is free and is used to provide essential, medically required state-provided healthcare when a person is staying in an EU nation or associated country. It’s important to note however that it is not designed to give access to healthcare for those who are long-term or permanent residents.
The UK Government has indicated that it may continue to issue EHIC to those travelling to EU nations after Brexit, but the precise details remain under discussion.
So if you live in France and have not made any arrangements for your healthcare – or you are thinking of moving to the country – what should you do?
Once a person leaves the UK, they need to complete an S1 form which is a certificate of entitlement to health care in another EEA country. The S1 form is generally used by those who are retired and who do not need to make social security contributions. Those in self-employment or employment need to make separate arrangements to access the French healthcare system.
If you are retired, the funding of the healthcare used by those living in France and other EU nations will need to be agreed as part of the Brexit negotiations. However, whatever is finally decided upon it’s crucial that you have some form of top-up healthcare insurance in place as even the current arrangements do not cover all of the potential costs.
For those in employment or are self-employed, you will need to pay regular contributions (cotisations) into the system and similarly it’s important to have top-up insurance to avoid the worry of expensive medical bills.
In all situations, our friendly team of English-speaking advisers can help you find the best solution for your needs and your budget. Please contact us to discuss further.
Based in Bordeaux, we are the only SwissLife agency in France to work with English speaking clients. We offer a wide range of Healthcare Insurance and General Insurance solutions backed by one of Europe’s leading Insurance providers.
Contact: Peter Musto 05 56 28 94 64
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