Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Carolina
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Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Carolina » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:17 pm

' New' advice for travellers visiting the UK, EU or European Economic Area in the event of a no-deal EU Exit' (published 28 January 2019).

Actually there is no real news as to what might happen after 29th March 2019, but they seem to be making more of a point that there may not be reciprocal deals.


After 29 March 2019
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Greece is likely to change. If you are planning to visit Greece on or after 29 March 2019, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new- ... Reje0XZ_yk


The UK Government is seeking agreements with countries, including Greece, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March.
This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Greece as the circumstances change.

Pensioners in Greece
S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)
A S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in the Greece. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until 29 March 2019.

After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/health ... k-islands/

Kilkis
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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:10 am

Carolina wrote:...Pensioners in Greece
S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)...


This is an error on the NHS web site. It should read "S1 Certificate (formerly known as E121)".

There was an E106, which did become an S1, but it covered early retirees for a limited period, up to 2 years, depending on their NI contributions leading up to departure from the UK and exactly when in the year they moved. It is no longer available. Those that had already been issued when the scheme was stopped continued to be valid BUT I think all those will have expired by now. The E121 was the appropriate form for UK State Pensioners. There was also an E109, that also became an S1 for a time, which I think applied to job seekers, but that was stopped as well.

I guess it would be easier for them if they simply gave out guidance saying: "In the event of a no-deal exit from the EU, after 29 March 2019...Duh! We have no idea what will happen, sort it out for yourself".

Warwick

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Carolina » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:32 pm

Kilkis wrote:
Carolina wrote:...Pensioners in Greece
...


I guess it would be easier for them if they simply gave out guidance saying: "In the event of a no-deal exit from the EU, after 29 March 2019...Duh! We have no idea what will happen, sort it out for yourself".

Warwick


I expect we actually WILL have to sort it out for ourselves if there is no Brexit deal & no transition period. I expect in that case it will take a while for member states to sort it all out and agree any reciprocal healthcare deals, if any.

The Guardian have come up with this today 'British retirees in EU will lose free healthcare under no-deal Brexit'
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... tQmsvdIXnE

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby bobscott » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:21 am

Carolina wrote:I expect we actually WILL have to sort it out for ourselves if there is no Brexit deal & no transition period. I expect in that case it will take a while for member states to sort it all out and agree any reciprocal healthcare deals, if any.

The Guardian have come up with this today 'British retirees in EU will lose free healthcare under no-deal Brexit'
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... tQmsvdIXnE


Slightly sloppy reporting by the Guardian. In the first paragraph of the article, they say we will lose free healthcare in the event of a no-deal BREXIT. Further down, they quote the government as saying, in a technical note "If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until 29 March 2019. After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.”

On the one hand therefore they seem to be reporting that it will be an NHS decision to remove free healthcare (presumably by not agreeing to pay the bills submitted) whilst on the other that it will be up to individual member states to make the decision. Surely, if the NHS refuses to pay, no sensible state would continue to submit bills, nor indeed provide the health care that they do now?

So the crux of the question is: has the government/NHS already decided not foot any incoming bills after 29 March in the event of a no-deal? And if so, why the hell not pay - given the quoted comparable EU/UK healthcare costs embedded elsewhere in the article? Time for the government to come clean. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:35 am

It doesn't suggest anywhere that the NHS will refuse to pay, Bob. Any government will only agree to provide healthcare to a citizen of another country if there is a reciprocal agreement with that other country that they will also provide healthcare for UK citizens. How the healthcare is paid for is determined by the reciprocal agreement. It could involve cross charging, as our current agreement does, or each could decide simply to absorb the costs.

Currently the UK has an EU wide reciprocal agreement enabled by an EU Directive. If the UK leaves with no-deal then from 30 March 2019 that reciprocal agreement is no longer valid. It is then necessary for the UK to negotiate 27 bilateral reciprocal agreements with the 27 member states. UK nationals living in a member state where a reciprocal agreement is reached will continue to get healthcare under whatever terms that reciprocal agreement specifies. UK nationals living in a member state where no reciprocal agreement is reached will lose their healthcare. The UK Guidance note is trying to deal with all eventualities.

As far as I can tell the UK government is genuinely, although somewhat belatedly, trying to negotiate bilateral reciprocal agreements with all 27 member states in order to cover the possibility of a no-deal. In the case of Greece the UK Embassy believes that achieving such a deal has a high probability of success because there is a balanced mutual interest. From my own experience of Greek government operations, i.e. I worked on contracts that had to be negotiated with the Greek government, it won't happen until the last minute or a bit later.

As has been pointed out the UK government actually benefits from cross charging, provided it is actually done. Medical costs are typically much lower in Greece than in the UK so if the UK pays for our treatment here, at Greek prices, and Greece has to pay for treatment of Greek citizens in the UK at UK prices it costs the UK less than if there was no cross charging and each country absorbed its own costs. Greece presumably realises this and it might want the new bilateral deal to be on an "absorbing own costs" basis rather than cross charging. It should be noted that this is only an issue for retired people. Workers will be paying into an insurance scheme, NI in the UK and EFKA in Greece, and will receive healthcare on that basis.

Warwick

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby bobscott » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:33 pm

Kilkis wrote:It doesn't suggest anywhere that the NHS will refuse to pay, Bob.

Warwick

Opening paragraph Warwick: "British nationals who have retired to EU countries including Spain and France will no longer have their healthcare covered by the NHS in the event of no Brexit deal, the government has said."

Like I said, maybe sloppy reporting.

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:21 pm

Because the UK will no longer be part of the S1 scheme, Bob. It is mechanism rather than willingness to pay. Once EU countries know that the UK is outside the healthcare agreement they will all automatically stop offering treatment until some other agreement mechanism is in place. EU countries will not offer treatment in the hope that the UK will pay for it, even if the UK promises to. They need some legally binding agreement that guarantees that they will get paid.

Warwick

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby bobscott » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 pm

Yes, I understand that. Like I said though, sloppy reporting. The first para explicitly says British Nationals who have retired will no longer have their healthcare covered by the NHS. The clear implication is it is the NHS who will stop paying.

What you are saying is that the 27 nations will stop offering it - not quite the same thing! Let's hope somebody somewhere gets a finger out and gets it sorted. Greece is bound to be late doing it, bless 'em; they always are! In the meantime .........Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby bobscott » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:54 pm

I did in the end write to the Dept of Health and Social care asking specifically if there were any talks/discussions going on about reciprocal healthcare rights between Greece and the UK (having seen references in other places about ongoing talks with Spain and France). Got an obviously standard response which ducked the question and contained all the usual platitudes about the situation, assuming there will be a deal. Followed this up with another pointing out the omission of any reference to Greece in the response, as well as the likelihood at this stage of a No Deal scenario and got a message to say they were experiencing system problems. Try again another day. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!
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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby bobscott » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:44 pm

Have eventually had a reply from the Dept of Health and Social Care, mainly unsatisfactory and not directly answering my question which was if they had any knowledge of talks between the UK and Greece (specifically) regarding reciprocal healthcare post Brexit (in other forums, they say that the UK has talked specifically with Spain and France). However, despite the irrelevance of most of the reply I got today, I think it is fair to say that no such talks between the UK and Greece have taken place, or at least, not to the knowledge of the Dept above. I am assuming this from the final paragraph of the reply received today which reads:

"I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that as the UK is expected to leave the European Union on 29 March, and there is uncertainty as to whether the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal, the Department cannot guarantee that Greece will honour any reciprocal healthcare entitlements for UK citizens after that date. I would therefore strongly recommend that you follow the UK Government public information on what steps to take and liaise with the Greek authorities."

A DIY job then as was said earlier.
Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Guy M
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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Guy M » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:11 am

A reality check - you are right, it is all DIY. The U.K. government is overwhelmed - so much so that they have even given me a call asking for help (really). Greece - U.K. reciprocal health arrangements are very near the bottom of the queue.

PS I said no - I have no desire to be anywhere near this shitstorm,

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Kilkis » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:04 pm

To be fair it has done one useful thing, although I don't think many people recognise it. By shining the light of direct democracy onto the myth of representative democracy it has exposed it for what it is and, rather like a vampire exposed to sunlight, it has crumbled to dust. It might have been wise to dream up something to replace it first?

Warwick

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Kilkis » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:47 am

Another article from the BBC on healthcare for UK citizens living in the EU after Brexit. It concentrates mainly on Spain and France, with nothing on Greece, and it doesn't really add anything new but perhaps worth a quick read.

There is also an article on the number of UK citizens living in the EU which gives some interesting "facts" on the demographics. I put "facts" in quotes since the main conclusion you can draw is that nobody has the foggiest idea about the true numbers. I suspect that the high proportion that work is perhaps due to the registration system. If you work you have to be registered in some way, e.g. get an NI Number in the UK or be registered with EFKA and OAED in Greece, so your presence is known. If you are self supporting, e.g. on a pension, registration is pretty much voluntary. Every EU member state has implemented the registration system described in the 2004 Directive governing freedom of movement but few, if any, seem to insist on it being used. I lived in Greece for 8 years without a Residence Permit. I only got one in order to exchange my UK driving licence for a Greek one. I suspect that I would never have got one if I hadn't needed it for that one action.

Warwick

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Voni » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:15 pm

Very latest on healthcare covering a no deal situation.

“The government has proposed to EU member states and EFTA states (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) to maintain the existing healthcare arrangements in a no-deal scenario.

This offer will apply until December 2020 with the aim of minimising disruption to healthcare provision for UK nationals and EU and EFTA citizens.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/heal ... =immediate

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-national ... =immediate

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Re: Latest EHIC & Reciprocal Healthcare

Postby Carolina » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:24 pm

I think you need to add the next paragraphs to that text Voni -

'This means the UK government will continue to pay for healthcare costs for current or former UK residents who are living or working in or visiting the EU. The government wants to work with EU partners to reach such agreements.

But if countries do not agree to extend the existing healthcare arrangements, your access to healthcare when visiting the EU and EFTA may change and become like arrangements in the rest of the world.

You are therefore strongly advised to review your access to healthcare. If your current arrangements end in the event of no deal, you should urgently take steps to prepare"


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