Nearly a year on and Brexit is still dominating conversations across the country. Yet, while negotiations have begun and much has been said about blue passports and potential future visa changes for Brits visiting the EU, the fate of our European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has yet to be determined but as we spotted recently, The Express has some ideas.
Currently, the card provides Brits abroad with state-provided essential medical treatment in case of an accident or emergency. It covers a whopping 27 million people and offers temporary care in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. However, the EHIC should never be used in lieu of travel insurance as it does not cover repatriation costs or other expenses, like lost baggage or travel delays.
And, as the UK EHIC service explained, if the EHIC card does go, tour operators and insurers may have to increase the value and facilities covered by travel insurance in order to help keep British holiday makers interested in European travel.
However, now that we will soon be bidding the EU goodbye, the question remains as to what will happen to our health coverage. While it has retained its validity after Article 50 was triggered back in March, no one is sure whether it will remain so once Brexit negotiations are complete in 2019.
Although, considering non-EU countries like Iceland and Switzerland are allowed in the scheme, UK residents may still be able to get access to healthcare overseas.
While David Davis commented recently that Brits will “probably” lose access, he confessed he “hadn’t looked at it” yet. Meanwhile, the official advice states that refusing our entry may dent tourism revenues across the Channel. Whether the EU will heed the warning is yet to be seen.
While there’s no way of knowing the outcome of the negotiations, in the meantime you can still travel freely and use your EHIC. That being said, for truly effective, adaptable medical coverage, travel insurance is of the utmost importance. Get a quote with us today.