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Losing NHS coverage under Brexit

(58 Posts)
WoodGreenie Wed 30-Jan-19 11:49:59

My long-term goal has always been to retire to France. I just saw this in the news that pensioners retiring in Europe won't be covered if there's a no deal Brexit.

The article says that the government has confirmed this www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/29/british-pensioners-in-eu-will-lose-nhs-covered-health-care-under-no-deal-brexit

Is anyone already in that situation? How do you get your medical care?

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 12:32:43

This is causing massive stress for Brits in the EU- if we leave with NO Deal- no-one knows what will happen.

One of my best friends has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and the very expensive treatment will begin on ... 29th of March.

Yes, the day she will probably lose reciprocal health care. People have NO idea how this is affecting people - at the very time when such stress is really not condusive to fighting the illness at all. NO idea.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 12:34:04

You can join a FB group called RIFT remain in France together - to discuss your concerns and worries.

Of course there will also be the need to have a permit, prove you have sufficient needs, a certain level of French and possibly re-take your driving permit ... for a start.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 12:35:05

UK pensioners currently get reciprocal health care via S1 certificate- which will probably not be valid beyond 29th of March.

Nonnie Wed 30-Jan-19 12:35:58

And most ex-pats were not allowed to vote!

Fennel Wed 30-Jan-19 12:49:28

For those already there , there's been an option for many years to join the french health system.
I think you need to have french tax returns for ? yyears. Then you pay 8% of your income above a generous allowance level.
Jura S1 might stop, but nothing will happen at once.

dublingran Wed 30-Jan-19 13:24:32

The reciprocal health agreement between Ireland & the UK will be the exception in still remaining after Brexit. You’ll all have to retire here instead!

notanan2 Wed 30-Jan-19 13:35:43

Bear in mind that even NOW you cannot "pop back" to use the NHS as a brit who doesnt reside here. You can get emergency care but not free inpatient treatment.

Cold Wed 30-Jan-19 13:48:25

If reciprocal rights are lost through a no-deal Brexit then the only option for Brits living abroad is to take out private health insurance.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 13:57:23

Fennel - the current rights will stop on March 29th if we crash out with NO deal- NO deal = NO deal.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 13:58:15

Have you tried taking Private Health Insurance with pre-existing conditions, and in old age?

Day6 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:13:01

If you decide to live/work/retire abroad you take your pension rights with you. Most people who leave Britain have to arrange a health care insurance policy, and pay for it, in the country they move to. I'd imagine that would be an urgent concern for those emigrating.

The other side of the coin is that EU nationals will not (?) (may not?) be able to use the taxpayer-funded NHS after Brexit. Health tourism is a blight on the NHS. Given there will be immigration and border changes, I'd expect a policy change regarding use of the NHS before long.

There are very few countries in the world where health care is free. People living and working in the UK pay indirectly for their medical care too.

paddyann Wed 30-Jan-19 14:21:26

MOST EU nationals living here WORK AND PAY TAXES .many run businesses employing "brits" .Its this ridiculous attitude thats causing division .Health tourism isn't nearly the problem Brexiteers make it out to be,far more money is wasted on Drunken british youth tying up services and assaulting NHS staff EVERY week of EVERY year .

Day6 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:30:50

MOST EU nationals living here WORK AND PAY TAXES

Of course they do, and rightly so, and as a consequence they can benefit from NHS health care. I didn't say otherwise.

If you don't live here, work here or contribute in any way you should not be able to have expensive treatment/operations for free. We all know the NHS struggles from over-use. Health tourism alone isn't the reason, but it's one loophole that could be closed.

It's an extremely altruistic NHS, but most travellers do have to have health insurance in other countries to pay for the treatment received.

The british tax payer keeps the institution afloat. I wouldn't want to turn people in need away but you wouldn't travel to the USA/Singapore/South Africa, etc, etc, without health insurance. The same should apply in the UK too.

It was one of the major reasons we decided our dream of retiring abroad was not for us.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:33:39

'Most people who leave Britain have to arrange a health care insurance policy, and pay for it, in the country they move to. I'd imagine that would be an urgent concern for those emigrating.'

NO Day6- not if you very carefully studied your rights before your move. Form S1 gave UK retirees in the EU and EEA access to reciprocal health care. So there was NO need to arrange private insurance- because as you had paid all your life for the system in your home country, it would pass on to the new country of residence, via Form S1. As you so clearly said in the same message 'you take your pension rights with you' - including health care provision.

If we crash without a deal, those UK pensioners will suddenly find themselves without cover. Have you tried to get Private Health Insurance with multiple health conditions and over the age of 65?

Day6 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:37:17

And yes, I also agree paddyann that weekend A&E cases and self-inflicted harm/brawling incidents are a drain on services. I think we all do.

However, if drunks can't be treated it could follow that smokers pay a penalty, as do the obese, drug-users, etc, etc, etc. It's not a precedent we ought to set. All cases cannot be reviewed.

It's a dangerous road to go down too and admin costs and collection of charges would probably outweigh any savings.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:39:27

'you wouldn't travel to the USA/Singapore/South Africa, etc, etc, without health insurance.'

well no, of course not. Which is why we have holiday/travel insurance for those countries. EHIC provides emergency health care for UK travellers to the EU and EEA - this will not be the case post Brexit- so holiday insurance will have to go up massively.

But we are talking here about British people who are RESIDENT in EU/EEA - not tourists- and who are UK pensioners- and who were covered by form S1 at the time of the decision to move- and will now find themselves without cover. Again, which company will consider giving someone over 65 with pre-existing conditions, never mind a serious illness - a private healthcare policy - with unicorns on top.

Fennel Wed 30-Jan-19 14:51:39

Jura - I told you, they can join the french system. They should have got cracking ages ago.
This is what we would have done if we had stayed. Some might even get in for free, as it's means tested.
I don't think this is possible for WoodGreenie though, I could be wrong, try to find a link.

Day6 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:53:35

Form S1 gave UK retirees in the EU and EEA access to reciprocal health care.

ONLY as long as we remained in the EU. That was the deal.

The storm clouds regarding our EU membership were gathering at the beginning of this century, if not before.

There were NEVER any guarantees.

EU membership or not, policy changes regarding the NHS (the like of which doesn't exist elsewhere - or in very few countries) may well have been implemented - to affect those living abroad. Moving away involves a loss of things that are familiar, which includes engaging with foreign health care systems. It is a gamble and the EU has been wobbling, for various reasons, over the years.

It's powers have also been questioned throughout Europe. Many feel that it will collapsed in the not too distant future, Brexit or no Brexit. Read the arguments.

The NHS is not a bottomless pit of finance, equipment, specialists etc. We all know it is long overdue a thorough overhaul.

Those people living in Europe will have to consider their options. Every time we travel abroad healthcare insurance costs us a fortune because of our pre-existing conditions. We have to pay it, or stay put, or gamble on travelling without it, which we wouldn't do. It is extremely expensive. It's the price we pay for aging and being more in need of health care unfortunately. I imagine that applies throughout the world, unless anyone can tell me differently.

Fennel Wed 30-Jan-19 15:07:51

www.french-property.com/guides/france/public-services/health/puma
It's not clear whether you need to have been in the french tax system for some time.
Where are Mamie, Welshwife and Sodapop?
They should know more than the rest of us.

jura2 Wed 30-Jan-19 15:09:56

Those British retirees have paid into the system all their lives - many are still paying their taxes in the UK.

And what on earth has the EU got to do with USA, Singapore or South Africa???

Fennel, no I can't, I do not live in France. But even then- Brtis working in France will be able to- there is no guarantee that will be the case for retirees post Brexit. Especially those who pay taxes in the UK (like ex police, teachers, civil servants, etc).

Mamie Wed 30-Jan-19 15:48:38

The arrangements changed a couple of years ago and you can now enter the PUMA system if you are living in France in a settled fashion. I think it is available after three months residence. This gives you access to the French system on the usual 70% basis with 30% covered by a top-up insurance. You would pay a percentage contribution to PUMA from rental income, but not from pension income, though you would become liable for one extra tax, the CSG. We would be in the same situation as French pensioners.
People in the system with an S1 are already effectively in PUMA, but their costs are currently charged back to the UK. This would end in the event of no deal. It would continue if the WA passes.
It should be a smooth transfer over to PUMA. People should not be encouraging others to panic. The French authorities have expressed their support for our situation and are on the case. As others have said RIFT is an excellent source of support.

Davidhs Wed 30-Jan-19 15:57:10

If there is “no deal” retiring anywhere abroad will need careful thought because reciprocal health care is going to be questionable. France is close enough to return to the UK for any major treatment although it will complicate any tests or checkups. Those with complex chronic conditions may well find it impossible and have to change their retirement plans, expats very often return to take advantage of the NHS as they age, that will probably happen earlier .

Mamie Wed 30-Jan-19 15:58:44

Day6 the S1 form actually benefits the UK as we cost far less than we would if we were resident in the UK. The S1 form currently works with Switzerland so it is not EU dependent. It is actually in everybody's interests to continue it and I know that there has been discussion about continuing it, especially for those already in residence on Brexit day.
And yes some of us are still UK tax payers.

Mamie Wed 30-Jan-19 16:03:49

Davidhs I can't imagine anyone wishing to return to the UK for treatment from France. Apart from the fact that it would be pretty daft to travel with a serious illness, we have fantastic health care here. Third country nationals currently manage to move to Europe and get health cover (we know lots of Australians and Americans here).