No-deal healthcare: Update

There have been further clarifications as to the UK’s position on healthcare for Britons living in the EU in the case of a no-deal.

It follows the announcement earlier today that if all else fails the UK will pay for the first six months of care if people are asked to pay for it, as we explained at this link (please see this previous article for the full picture). This applies in particular to UK state pensioners currently covered by the EU's S1 form system.

  • Firstly the UK has made an individual offer to each EU country to continue current healthcare arrangements, as now, until the end of 2020 (14 months if Brexit is on October 31, 2019).

However there is no indication that an actual agreement has been reached with France on this.

  • As well as the fall-back offer to pay for any healthcare that people are asked to pay for themselves in the first six months after a no-deal, the UK says that if people are applying to join a ‘local healthcare scheme’ then the UK will fund them while they are waiting to be registered with it, as long as they apply by the ‘local deadlines’ or within six months of no-deal Brexit day.

However the only ‘local scheme’ Connexion can identify relating to France would be France’s Puma system of joining the state system on grounds of residency and France has not so far confirmed that British state pensioners with S1s can move onto this after a no-deal.

France has merely said in its no-deal ordonnance:

A person covered by the British health system thanks to [the S1 system] and who is living legally in France on the date of Brexit continues to benefit from health cover for him/herself and dependents under the same conditions as a person covered by the ordinary French state health insurance system [régime français obligatoire]… for two years from [no-deal Brexit day] unless an agreement is made with the UK before that on the arrangements for covering the costs to each state for the healthcare costs incurred by the people who each state is responsible for.

It is unclear exactly what this all means for British pensioners who already have cartes vitales and are using the French system via a local Cpam but with the UK footing the bill via the EU's S1 system. Such people do not usually apply to join Puma on residency grounds.

  • The UK will cover healthcare costs of UK students who started courses in the EU before Brexit, for the duration of their course
  • The UK will also allow those who are currently living in the EU with S1s to continue to access NHS healthcare on temporary trips back to the UK.

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