Britons for many years have enjoyed the benefits of the EHIC card which entitles them to free or reduced rates healthcare in other European countries. Some travellers unwisely go on holiday thinking EHIC is a replacement for travel insurance. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. You should always have valid travel cover if you go anywhere outside the UK!
Back to Brexit. March 2019 is looming large and the answer to the question ‘Will my EHIC card still work after Brexit?‘ is that no one still knows!
Yes we are less than one year away now from crashing out of the European Union yet much remains unresolved and no one knows what’s going to happen.
The prospects did not look good back in 2017 that EHIC would still work for Brits but David Davis did indicate (before he stood down) that EHIC should continue and be part of any deal with the EU. However there is talk of Britain crashing out with no deal at all so where does this leave EHIC?
Again no one knows for sure. This in uncharted territory that we are moving into. Brits could end up with the same rights to healthcare in Spain as they would in Thailand – the latter offering cheaper healthcare!
If there are any updates then we will be one of the first to report them.
Will Brits still be able to use their EHIC card after Brexit?
Of course, this is one of the many questions that’s going to remain unanswered for a quite a while. Indeed with negotiations between the UK and the EU is expected to take up to two years, it could be a long while before the situation is clear in regards to the EHIC card.
What is an EHIC card?
An EHIC card the European Health Insurance card that entitles European citizens reciprical healthcare in other European countries.
Contrary to popular belief, the EHIC (formally known in Britain as the E111 card) is not an EU invention. It is actually from the EEA (The European Economic Area). The EEA includes such countries as Norway and Switzerland, which are not EU countries but use the EHIC scheme nonetheless.
Won’t Britain remain as a member of the EEA after Brexit?
This is unlikely. Being a member of the EEA means freedom of movement of people. This is the main issue for the UK in regards to Brexit! If the UK could have turned off the free movement of people, then it would not be in the situation it is now.
So it is expected that the UK will leave the EEA too so it can control it’s borders.
Where does this leave the EHIC card?
In theory the UK will come out of the EHIC scheme because it will not be a member of the EEA.
For more on this news item check out this recent telegraph article.