Guidance

Healthcare after Brexit: living in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

How healthcare access might change for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.

Stay up to date

The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

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There might be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare after Brexit if there is no arrangement in place with the country you live in.

How you can prepare

Consider registering for healthcare under the local rules and legislation to get healthcare access in the country you live in.

You may need to be a long-term legal resident or pay social security contributions. This depends on the country you live in.

You can find out more about registering locally for healthcare by:

  • checking the NHS guidance for the country you live in
  • contacting the government healthcare department in the country you live in

Make sure all your documentation is up to date.

You may want to consider buying comprehensive health insurance while you are applying for residency or if you are not eligible for local schemes.

Check the NHS guidance for the country you live in for the latest information on healthcare after Brexit.

Living in Ireland

British citizens living in Ireland will be able to access healthcare in Ireland in the same way as before Brexit.

They will also continue to have access to free, urgent treatment when they visit the UK.

Irish citizens

Irish citizens living in the UK will continue to be able to access healthcare in the UK in the same way as before Brexit.

Irish citizens living in Ireland will continue to have access to free, urgent treatment when they visit the UK.

Living in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

Your healthcare entitlements will be protected if you are a resident in one of these countries before Brexit.

Healthcare paid for by the UK - S1 certificate

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants to access healthcare in the EU.

You may be able to get an S1 certificate if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm, for example if you are a posted worker or frontier worker
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can still apply for an S1 until the UK leaves the EU.

Living in an EU country

Your S1 certificate may not be valid after Brexit if there is no deal.

Check the latest information for each country on the NHS country guides.

Living in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

If you are living in one of these countries before Brexit, your S1 will still be valid after Brexit.

How to apply for an S1

You can apply for an S1 through the NHS Business Services Authority on 0044 (0)191 218 1999 (option 5). Make sure you have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

Posted workers can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

Information for students

Read the guidance about studying in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland after Brexit.

Published 28 January 2019
Last updated 28 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Increased visibility of calls to actions. Highlighted guidance on what to do to prepare for Brexit, agreements with EFTA states (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), studying in the EU and how to apply for an S1 certificate.
  2. We have updated the information for students about EHIC rights when studying in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
  3. Updated with information about health insurance.
  4. First published.