Acceptance of the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) may vary from country to country in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government has warned.
Travellers intending to use their Ehic after March 29, if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, may have to check arrangements with specific countries.
New guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care (DoH) was issued on Monday (January 28) confirming the Ehic “may not be valid”.
“Travellers who intend to use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) must check what the arrangement is with the specific country they are visiting, as the card may not be valid,” said the DoH, adding the new advice also applied to students studying in the EU.
“In addition, UK nationals should follow current advice from the government which recommends travellers take out separate travel insurance to cover any healthcare requirements needed in any country within the EU or outside. This is particularly advisable for travellers with a pre-existing or long-term health condition."
The DoH said citizens living outside the UK were encouraged to register for healthcare access in the EU/EEA country in which they live. “Some residents may need to be a long-term resident or pay social security contributions to access free or discounted healthcare,” said the department.
“If a resident is in the process of applying for residency, the advice suggests individuals take out separate health insurance.
“Until further agreements are reached between the UK and individual EU member states, the government advises UK citizens to follow this latest guidance to ensure they are fully prepared for any unexpected healthcare requirements overseas.”