Brexit is affecting a lot of issues. People tend to focus on the political and the financial, but it will likely affect lives beyond the usual headlines. Brexit will have an impact on health and healthcare for ex-pats who live in Europe. The current estimate is that 780,000 citizens living in EU countries. This number is expected to increase as uncertainties loom over the United Kingdom in 2020. The vast majority of UK citizens living in Europe have cheaper health insurance, but this will change once the country leaves the EU.
The EU& Healthcare
Brexit has become exceedingly complicated. After three years, not much has been accomplished. Since the EU allows for free trade and movement of people, many people have moved to Europe for the opportunity and a cheaper standard of living. During this time, UK citizens enjoyed affordable healthcare in their new home countries. The impact that Brexit will have on healthcare can be viewed from two angles. It will likely change the nature of health insurance for temporary visitors and second the fate of the UK government-funded healthcare coverage for residents of the UK living in the EU is uncertain.
Every resident of the UK is entitled to apply for an EHIC that covers medically necessary healthcare that the state provides at a reduced cost. In many cases, it is free of charge during a temporary stay in another EU country like Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland. Issuing 27 million EHIC cards to date, the UK has provided £150 million worth of treatment to its citizens. The nature of health insurance for temporary visitors will change significantly. Currently, we just don’t know how much it will.
Brexit & Healthcare Abroad
There are a few scenarios as to how it could go when the UK leaves the European