Brexit deal reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU
The UK Government has come to an agreement with the EU. From the 1st
of January 2021, people who travel from the UK to the EU (and EU travellers in the UK) will continue to be able to receive medically necessary treatment if they fall ill while abroad, but with some subtle differences in administration. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be replaced by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The new card is also free and applications can be completed via the NHS website
Current EHIC holders will still have access to necessary healthcare in EU countries until the card’s expiry date, at which point they will be able to apply for a GHIC.
To find out more about healthcare if you're planning to visit or move to another country find out more on healthcare abroad
The new card covers all emergency care and pre-planned treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy. Artificial feeding is not included as this is taken by the individual when travelling. People who require pre-planned treatment during their trip to an EU country can arrange to have it paid for in advance, and should not have to pay upfront for treatment themselves.
Please note that only the EU27 countries are covered by this arrangement in its current form – not Schengen Area countries Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Lichtenstein. It’s not yet clear what additional countries will be covered by GHIC in future, but they are likely to include countries such as Australia and New Zealand, with whom the UK already has reciprocal healthcare arrangements.
More information about healthcare while travelling to the EU can be found here
We strongly recommend that independent travel insurance is purchased for all overseas travel where pre-existing illnesses and treatments are known. The current card, and the new GHIC card will have limitations.
Updates will be provided when further information is available.