BST wrote:Saddler, you haven't read all my comments. The writing in red wasn't there a few years ago. It's changed.
As far as I am aware the NHS has always
been a residence based healthcare scheme and EHIC was never
intended to be used by people who had moved permanently abroad, although many people have stayed registered with NHS in the UK and used a UK issued EHIC to obtain healthcare in Greece. EHIC was introduced in 2004 and it replaced the following schemes that were in use before EHIC:
E110 - For international road hauliers
E111 - For tourists
E119 - For unemployed people/job seekers
E128 - For students and workers in another member state
Note that none of the schemes that EHIC replaced dealt with early retirees. Three other schemes, E106, E109 and E121 were replaced by the S1 form in 2010.
One of those schemes, I cannot remember if it was S1/E106 or S1/E109, was for early retirees, i.e. those retiring before UK State Pension age, which provided them with healthcover for a limited
period of time, up to 2 years depending on NI contributions and when in the tax year they relocated, but that was abandoned by the UK government in 2015. I know people who retired early to Greece and got temporary cover through S1/E106 or S1/E109 but then had to take out private medical insurance when that cover ended until they will qualify for an S1/E121. Apart from the loss of that temporary cover nothing has changed.
It is quite possible that the Greek authorities would quite properly accept an EHIC as proof of healthcover when applying for a Residence Certificate. A Residence Certificate is required if you stay longer than 3 months. It would be perfectly possible for a UK citizen to spend 8 months, say, in the UK and 4 months in Greece. They would be regarded as ordinarily resident in the UK and so entitled to NHS healthcare and an NHS issued EHIC but would also require a Greek Residence Certificate. The fact that the Greek authorities accepted the card is no indication that the card is valid. The Greek authorities have no way of knowing if the card was issued fraudulently or not. Anybody living permanently in Greece and obtaining an EHIC by staying registered with the NHS by using a UK address is certainly breaking the NHS rules and is lying on an official government application form. Not something I would recommend doing.
PS Please note that I have no influence over the UK government and I am not responsible for the decisions made by that government. Every single decision any government makes anywhere in the world will adversely affect somebody. I simply try to report as accurately as I can what the position is. If you are adversely affected by any of the issues discussed in this post please complain to the government - don't blame me.