IN a surprise move by the UK Health Minster, British expats in the EU will have post-Brexit rights to overseas healthcare reports emigrate.co.uk.
For those retirees who’re planning to leave post-Brexit Britain for Europe but are concerned about their healthcare, the new bill introduced by Jackie Doyle-Price is a potential lifeline and for UK expat pensioners already in residence it may also be a life-saver.
The timely bill also protects tourists, students and business people who travel in and around EU member states on a short-term basis. To be known as the ‘Healthcare (International Arrangements’ bill, the legislation will establish a legal foundation allowing the British government to fund European healthcare for British after the end of the transition period in December 2020.
Current arrangements will end when Brexit kicks in, and the bill gives the Health Secretary the power to fund overseas medical care as it maintains the present agreement. The bill will set up arrangements to keep the European Health Insurance Card programme alive and well, and will create reciprocal agreements with all EU member states as regards boosting the travel economy, making travel for the elderly more viable and reducing insurance costs.
For the 190,000 British expat state pensioners at present living in EU member states as well as those intending to retire within the EU, it will also safeguard reciprocal healthcare in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The agreement is subject to approval and agreement by the EU negotiating team as well as the 27 EU member states, and will be part of the ongoing negotiations, but is not intended to replace the need for travel or private health insurance. Britain also has reciprocal healthcare agreements with New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, none of which are EU member states.