UK expats get positive news over free healthcare cover

Published:  12 Feb at 6 PM
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The boost in private medical insurance cover is due to needless expat concerns over post-Brexit coverage.

In spite of positive messages about medical coverage for expats wishing to stay in the UK post-Brexit, the private medical insurance sector is reporting a boost in demand. British expats themselves, it seems, are still worried and confused about their rights to medical coverage in their chosen EU member states, whether they’re working or retiring.

According to professionals in the sector, much of the confusion arose at the end of last year when a no-deal exit was still on the cards. Now that the withdrawal agreement is signed, these concerns are no longer valid, even although uncertainty in the expatriate sector seems to be continuing. One provider believes the original confusion may have been based on rumours the NHS would be sold off to the USA, but experts in the field believe this was just coincidental and very unlikely to actually happen.

At present, some four million British residents have private health cover, either in their own right or through their employer, with the total less than 10 per cent of the UK’s population. Average monthly payments for those aged 70 or over are £2,300 a year, a not unreasonable amount when compared with various favourite expat retirement destinations.

The withdrawal agreement states that, post 2020, British expats with a current S1 reciprocal healthcare form will get their costs covered by the British government for as long as they are legally resident in their chosen country. In addition, British expat pensioners will be entitled to free NHS treatment under UK law, and Britons working overseas and paying social security contributions will also have their healthcare needs covered.
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