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Government wants to keep European health cover post-Brexit

Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK government has stressed that it wants healthcare cover to remain in place in EU member states until at least the end of 2020.

Such cover would be similar to that offered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), although there is no guarantee that the EHIC itself will continue.

Health minister Stephen Hammond has said that reciprocal healthcare rights should remain in place until the end of 2020 if a no-deal Brexit occurs.

Importantly, he has warned that the EHIC “may no longer be valid” on exit day should a no-deal scenario occur.

Currently, the free EHIC means that British travellers can access medical treatment at the same rates as local people in EU nations, and a selected number of others including Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

The key for travellers is to purchase travel insurance at the earliest possible opportunity, especially if the EHIC may not provide cover.

However, it’s also essential to note that the EHIC should not be viewed as a substitute for travel insurance, even if the cover it offers is extended.

The Association of British Insurers has instructed holidaymakers to check their travel insurance policies and to contact their insurance provider if they are unsure of anything.

Highlighting a small number of policies which state that the EHIC must be used during any claim, the ABI has said it’s vital to pay close attention to the terms and conditions.

The government has said that a number of European countries have already committed to providing healthcare access arrangements, including Spain.  This means that holidaymakers will be able to gain access to healthcare in the same way they currently do, regardless of whichever Brexit scenario occurs.

If you are journeying to Europe in the coming months, assess your travel insurance options today to ensure that you are covered for any eventuality.


Date Created: 29/03/2019

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