A European Health Insurance Card (“EHIC”) currently gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
However, from 1 January 2021, once the Brexit transition period ends, most people will not be able to use a UK-issued EHIC to access healthcare in Europe. It should be noted that if you embark on a trip to Europe before 1 January 2021, your UK-issued EHIC will remain valid until you either return to the UK or visit another EU country.
A small number of people will be able to apply for a new UK EHIC which will be valid after 1 January 2021. Those who are able to do so are currently those who:
- have a registered S1 form or E121 because they receive a qualifying pension or benefit;
- have a registered S1 form or E121 because they are a family member of someone with a qualifying pension or benefit;
- have a registered S1 form or E106 because they are a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another) by 31 December 2020, for as long as they continue to be a frontier worker in the host state;
- have a registered S1 form or E109 because they are a family member of someone considered to be a frontier worker;
- are a UK student studying in the EU by 31 December 2020.
If you do not qualify for a EHIC in the new year, the Government website states that you should buy travel insurance with healthcare cover before you travel to any of the above-mentioned countries on or after 1 January 2021, in the same way as you would when travelling to other non-EU countries.
The information contained in this blog applies to British citizens, not EU nationals. If you are an EU national living in the UK before the end of 2020 you will be able to apply for a new UK EHIC in due course, although your current EHIC will only remain valid until 31 December 2020.
If you are an EU/EEA national currently resident in the UK, the deadline for applications under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen who is not resident in the UK and you wish to be able to reside in the UK, those wishing to rely on their EU/EEA nationality must be resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.
Gherson has a wealth of experience in all aspects of UK immigration law and has assisted many clients with their applications under the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme. If you have any specific questions or queries in respect of your particular circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.