NOW that Brexit is in full swing Parliament has 11 months to negotiate what new arrangements will be made for British and European travellers.
Here’s everything you need to know about upcoming changes to your health insurance and care while travelling in post-Brexit Europe.
What is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
The EHIC covers you in most European countries, just like the NHS does at home. It lets doctors know not to bill you or your insurer for anything that qualifies under the scheme.
It will cover state-provided healthcare that is deemed “medically necessary until the card holder returns home”, which also includes treatments for pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care.
Will it still be valid after January 31?
Yes. UK-issued EHICs will remain valid until the UK leaves the EU, or if your trip or treatment started before exit day.
While Britain is negotiating the transition the UK will remain an EU member and no changes will be implemented.
However this all changes in 2021 when the exact future of the cards becomes a bit trickier.
The government has warned that the cards may no longer be valid in other countries once Brexit comes into full effect and is negotiating agreements with countries to keep the current deals in place.
How do I get one if I’m travelling to Europe?
You can apply for a free card at www.ehic.org.uk. Don’t get conned by middlemen.
The card doesn’t cover everything so you should still get a valid travel insurance policy with adequate health cover.
Will it affect my travel insurance?
Not for now, but when the transition period comes to an end there is a possibility you could be in for a price hike.
There is a consensus among insurers that costs will rise post-Brexit.
It is wise to review your travel insurance terms and check with the foreign office to be sure that your policy covers you properly as the year goes on.
Brexit Disruption Cover extensions are being offered by some companies and other insurers offer “travel disruption cover” add-ons.
If you book a package holiday, it is the provider’s responsibility to make sure your holiday is provided and to offer an alternative or refund if not.
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