Free post-Brexit healthcare for Brit expats now on the cards

Published:  23 Nov at 6 PM
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Whilst the word ‘Brexit’ has become a source of worry and fear for British expatriates living, working, retiring or even studying in EU member states, one concern is the most scary – that of continued healthcare.

UK expat state pensioners have been the hardest hit by the possibility that post-Brexit healthcare will no longer be free or, in most cases, even affordable on a paying basis for those who’ve higher levels of savings. Reassurances, reports on progress, firm answers or even breakdowns of possible options have not been forthcoming, causing huge amounts of stress within the communities of retired Britons scattered across Europe.

Recent reports suggest that, at this late date, at least some progress has been made , mostly within the proposed Healthcare (International Arrangements) bill. The bill’s main objective would appear to be the protection of access to post-Brexit free overseas healthcare for UK nationals living in EU member states. The law, if passed, would allow the UK the authority to implement and fund reciprocal healthcare rules after the UK/EU divorce is finalised, thus safeguarding free healthcare of almost 200,000 British expats in the EU.

The proposed bill is focusing on allowing the continuance of the European Health Insurance Card scheme after the transition period ends in 2020. It’s the only chance for British expatriates, as the majority would not be able to afford private health insurance and would be forced to return to the UK, thus putting a massive burden on the already stretched NHS and its already diminishing EU expat workforce, most of whom are as much victims of Brexit as are Britons living overseas. Should the proposed scheme be agreed, it’ll also be good news for those planning to retire to Europe but unsure about their healthcare rights.
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