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You will have to pay 7 euros to go on holiday in the EU after Brexit

British holidaymakers will have to pay 7 euros to travel to EU countries after Brexit[1].
The European Union has confirmed that while Brits won’t need a visa, they will have to buy a ‘travel pass’ to be able to enter the EU.
To get this document UK cit…

I want to go on holiday in France. Will my European Health Card still be valid after Brexit?

I am planning a holiday to France next summer and have previously relied on my European Health Insurance Card as a back-up in case I get ill in Europe.

But what will happen to EHIC after Brexit – will it still be valid?

Additionally, what should I look out for in travel insurance that will make sure I am covered if it isn’t – and will it push up prices?

Brexit uncertainty: European health cards are currently available to people living within the EU

Grace Gausden, of This is Money, replies: With Brexit looming, there is still a number of important decisions, on a range of issues, that still need to be negotiated.

One of the main concerns for UK residents is how future decisions will impact their ability to travel within the EU.

Currently, a major benefit of being an EU member is having access to the EHIC which gives EU citizens access to state-run medical care in other EU countries.

This allows them to pay the same amount that locals do for their healthcare – significantly reducing potentially expensive bills.

The card is valid in all EU countries as well as Switzerland, Iceland and Norway and UK residents can apply for the free card, that lasts for five years, on the NHS website. 

However, as Brexit talks continue, the EHIC’s future is potentially under threat. So far, according to the Post Office, the future of the card is undetermined.

Beware online EHIC scams 

People looking to apply, or re-apply, for an EHIC card have been warned not to fall for scam websites that convince users that they need to pay for their card. 

EHIC cards are free and you should never have to put in your bank details in order to receive one of these cards. 

The NHS Business Service Authority is the only service to offer the cards.

A spokesperson for the NHSBSA said: ‘NHSBSA monitor unofficial websites and report misleading websites to the Advertising Standards Authority and National Trading Standards. 

‘NHSBSA acts on customer feedback and also works with internet service providers to remove adverts paid for by unofficial websites.’

Depending on the Brexit deal that is decided upon, the UK could still remain subject to a lot of EU laws, including the ones that control EHIC.

In the event of a no-deal, there will likely be emergency measures that are put in place that will probably mean that the EHIC can still be used in the meantime, while a long term solution is worked out.

Unfortunately, for those who currently rely on the EHIC, if the card is no more, travel insurance premiums are likely to go up significantly.

At present, if a British traveller makes a medical claim in the EU, some of the costs are likely to be covered by the card. 

However, if this arrangement is no more, insurers will need to make up all of a claim’s expenses, meaning there will be a rise in premium costs.

Although holiday-goers are already encouraged to buy a decent travel insurance cover that offers full coverage on a range of things, without a card in the future, it will be even more important to take out decent insurance that has a good level of medical cover. 

Another concern is for UK citizens that live elsewhere in the EU. 

They currently receive the same medical care as the nationals of the country they are living in and are able to use their card in other EU countries, however, it is not yet known how they will be affected by Brexit.

UK residents looking to holiday in the European Union currently receive health cover if needed

A spokesperson for the Post Office replies: Discussions around Brexit are ongoing and the outcomes of those can’t be pre-empted. 

However, should the EHIC cease, then the travel insurance market would be affected and the price of cover could rise, as insurers would need to cover the emergency costs currently covered by the EHIC scheme.

Insurers are managing these uncertainties and what we can say to our customers is that under any scenario, travel insurance will remain fully in force to provide protection to our customers.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care, replies: Under the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, the EHIC scheme will continue until at least the end of 2020, with an expectation that it will continue beyond that time.

It can still be used until 29 March 2019 and people can still apply or renew their cards up until that date.

Not only are we are seeking an agreement on reciprocal healthcare cover for state pensioners retiring to the EU or the UK, but also continued participation in the EHIC scheme and cooperation on planned medical treatment. 

The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals who are temporarily in the EU at the end of the implementation period to continue to benefit from a EHIC for as long as they remain on that stay. 

We remain focused on securing an ambitious reciprocal healthcare agreement with the EU, but as a responsible government we have been making all the necessary preparations for the continuation of healthcare for UK nationals living in the EU. 

Legislation has been brought before parliament to ensure that EHICs will be made a top priority in the unlikely event of a no-deal. We have also introduced a Bill to provide a legal basis for future reciprocal healthcare agreements which has had its first reading.  

We already recommend purchasing travel insurance to ensure you can travel safely. This will be just as important after leaving the EU.  

 

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