Brexit has brought about significant changes for UK expats in Europe, including alterations in their access to healthcare services when residing or traveling within European countries.
Formerly, UK citizens could take advantage of reciprocal healthcare agreements with the EU that allowed access to healthcare services similar to the NHS in Europe.
However, post-Brexit, this has evolved, necessitating a reconsideration of healthcare options for UK expats. In this blog post, we have simplified the information around changes in healthcare access and outlined the three key points for UK citizens seeking medical care abroad.
Key Changes in Healthcare Access
1. End of NHS Equivalent Access
With the UK’s exit from the EU, UK citizens no longer have direct access to the equivalent of the NHS when in European countries. This includes a shift in access to routine healthcare services, specialist care, hospital treatments, and emergency care.
2. S1 Forms and Reciprocal Agreements
The S1 form, previously utilized for accessing healthcare in EU countries, is affected. While UK citizens could access healthcare in EU nations using S1 forms before Brexit, these arrangements have either changed or been terminated. UK nationals residing in European countries such as Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Italy or Greece before 1st January 2021 can continue using their S1 forms for accesss. New residents will need to arrange health cover privately.
3. Requirement for Health Insurance
Private health insurance becomes a crucial option to bridge the gap left by the cessation of reciprocal healthcare agreements. Aside from the reassurance of accessing private healthcare on the continent, securing European visas require proof of medical insurance. HealthCare International Group specialises in covering UK expats living in Europe and our medical policies are designed to meet international visa requirements.