Many British ex-pats who live in Portugal and elsewhere in Europe have been worrying about their status recently, but thanks to the new Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill going through parliament, they will be covered in terms of healthcare after Brexit.
Since the UK is still a member of the European Union (for now!), British citizens who live abroad and tourists who visit EU countries can receive free healthcare with their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Lots of these ex-patriates and holiday makers having been asking whether this would still be the case after Britain leaves the EU, but the government has now status that Brexit will not make any change to Brits’ health status abroad.
If the proposed bill goes through parliament, it means the government will be able to make separate, reciprocal deals with the different EU member states with the aim of cutting down health insurance costs and making it easier for UK residents to receive medical attention in a different country. As part of this plan, the EHIC scheme will also be continue after 2020, providing the UK and the EU can reach an agreement on it.
While it’s good news for British people living in Portugal, both working and retired, since they will still be able to get free healthcare just like on the NHS, there are other aspects of Britain leaving the EU that are still worrying ex-pats, such as whether they will need to get visas to keep legally residing in Portugal and what exactly their residency status will be.