The British government have once again reaffirmed their commitment to continuity of health cover for retired expatriates living in Europe.
In our Newsletter in July we reported on a position paper published by the British government on 'Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU'
In the paper the government stated that the right of existing UK State retired expatriates to S1 health certificates will be maintained for life, and the certificates would continue to be issued until the date when the UK leaves the EU. That date was not specified, but might include any transitional period after March 2019, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.
Last month, the government also published a response to a report published by a House of Commons Health Committee on 'Brexit and Health Social Care - People and Process'.
One of the conclusions of the Health Committee covered 'Reciprocal Healthcare', in which it stated:'It is in the interest of many hundreds of thousands of British people living across the EU to maintain simple and comprehensive reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The Government’s negotiating objective should be preservation of the existing system of reciprocal healthcare so that EU nationals in the UK and people insured by the UK in other EU countries can maintain their access to healthcare.'
In their response to the report, the government last month confirmed the assurances they set out in their own earlier position paper, stating:
'The UK will seek to protect the healthcare arrangements currently set out in EU Regulations and domestic UK law for UK nationals and EU citizens who benefit from these arrangements resident before the specified date (to be agreed during negotiations).
This is as set out in The United Kingdom’s Exit from the European Union: Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU.
We will also seek to protect the right of UK nationals and EU citizens to benefit from the European Health Insurance Card. This would ensure that EU citizens remain eligible for NHS provided healthcare in the UK (and vice versa for UK nationals in the EU).
The Government has made good progress in recent negotiations with the EU and looks forward to continued discussions on this matter.'