Free Healthcare Deadline Looms For UK Expats

By Editorial 18 February, 2014

British expats living in the European Economic Area may lose access to free healthcare currently funded by the UK Government, as part of reforms which are expected to be in place by April 1, 2014. For the past two and a half years, these costs have been covered by the National Health Services (NHS) budget.

Currently, Britons below retirement age (defined as 65 years old for men, and 60 for women) who plan to move within the EEA but not to work are eligible to apply for temporary cover via Social Security residual form S1, so long as they have paid National Insurance in the UK for the three preceding years.

However, the UK Government announced last year that it intended to end reimbursements for those under retirement age, as part of a shakeup of migrant access to NHS treatment.

The exact date that eligibility will end is not known, but it is thought that the change will come into effect from April 2014. Those who submit their form before the cut-off date will continue to benefit.

The form requires a full address in the intended country of residence. Retirees will not be affected by the change in the rules.

Tags: United Kingdom | Spain | European Union (EU) | Expats | Healthcare | Europe | Healthcare |


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