What Will Happen To My EHIC After Brexit?
For many people living in the UK, Brexit has caused a great deal of confusion. As part of the European Union, the UK has followed many EU laws and legislations for the past 50 years. This means that there is uncertainty regarding whether these laws will still apply after the country leaves the EU. The validity of the EHIC card after Brexit is just one of the issues which have been raised in the year following the announcement of the UK’s leave from the EU.
It’s currently unclear whether the EHIC card will continue to be accepted following Britain’s exit from the EU. No deal has been agreed between the UK and the rest of the EU member states, although the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, claimed that both the EU and the UK had agreed to maintain the current EHIC card arrangements. This will mean that UK residents in the EU, and European citizens in the UK, can still receive discounted or free medical treatments as normal. This has yet to be officially confirmed by negotiators, so as it stands, your EHIC card will continue to work until the 29th of March 2019.
In the meantime, it’s still possible to renew and use your EHIC card as normal. If you need emergency medical treatment while you are on holiday in any European Economic Area (EEA) country, including Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, you will be able to receive it at discounted or reduced cost from state-providers. The cost of private medical treatment and travelling abroad specifically to receive medical treatment, without prior approval from the NHS, is not covered by your EHIC card. Under exceptional circumstances, you may be able to travel specifically for medical treatment and receive it for free or discounted prices with your EHIC card. You can find out more about the criteria for medical treatment abroad by visiting the NHS website.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Europe in the near future don’t forget to check whether your card is in date. The negotiations between the UK and the rest of Europe are expected to take at least another two years, so travellers don’t need to worry about the impact of Brexit just yet.