Brexit – What happens now if I need medical treatment on holiday?
Firstly and most importantly you should always ensure you have Travel Insurance for all persons in your travelling party.
It is also wise to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as many Insurers include this as a condition in their policy.
Despite the commencement of the negotiations to leave the European Economic Union the availability of reciprocal medical treatment between the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland remains valid and in force.
The EHIC continues to provide state healthcare under the statutory social security scheme of each member country either free or at a reduced cost for UK residents visiting on temporary basis.
Not all treatments are necessarily free and in some circumstances certain up-front payments may be required which can vary between countries and the type of treatment required.
Whilst existing conditions are included under the reciprocal agreement it does not provide for specially seeking treatment or to give birth.
The essential need for having your own Travel Insurance will mean that apart from the various benefits provided under a policy you will also for example be covered under the medical expenses section for private medical healthcare costs (think mountain & sea rescue), repatriation costs (if you are unable to travel) and associated holiday disruption costs, none of which are covered by the EHIC.
You can apply online through the official site for an EHIC (beware of unofficial websites that will make a charge if you apply through them) that is valid for a period of five years and you will also find useful information on how to access healthcare whilst you are away and also countries not covered by the EHIC but still have reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the UK.
Finally, at Watkin Davies we can provide you with the necessary Travel Insurance to meet your individual needs and welcome your enquiries at any time.
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