Guidance

UK residents visiting the EU/EEA and Switzerland: Healthcare

Information on healthcare for UK residents visiting the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March.

The government has, or is seeking, agreements with countries in the EU/EEA and Switzerland on the continuation of healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March.

Your access to healthcare when visiting the EU/EEA and Switzerland may change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

If you become medically unwell, or require healthcare overseas, the UK does not routinely cover the costs of bringing people back to the UK.

You are advised to visit the NHS website for up-to-date information on accessing healthcare in countries in the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

Travel insurance

The government always advises UK citizens to take out travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations.

If you are planning to visit a country in the EU/EEA or Switzerland on or after 29 March 2019, you should continue to buy travel insurance. Make sure that any insurance product you buy has the necessary healthcare coverage to ensure you can get any treatment you might need.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)

If you have an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until 29 March 2019. It may not be valid after this date, depending on decisions by individual countries. Go to the NHS website for the latest information on each country.

Studying and working in the EU/EEA and Switzerland

If you are a UK resident and studying in a country in the EU/EEA or Switzerland, and you have an EHIC, it will be valid until 29 March 2019. It may not be valid after this date and you should buy insurance to cover your healthcare as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

If you usually live in the UK and you are working in the EU/EEA or Switzerland temporarily and you have an A1 National Insurance form and an EHIC, it will be valid until 29 March 2019. It may not be valid after this date and you should buy travel insurance to cover your healthcare.

Find out more about healthcare:

People with pre-existing health conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting countries in the EU/EEA or Switzerland. You must tell the insurance company about any health conditions you have, to make sure you can get the cover you need. If you have an EHIC, this will be valid until 29 March 2019 but may not be accepted after this date.

Ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel and make plans for how to manage your condition when you are abroad. You should also take your health condition identification or letter saying what medication you are taking.

Agreement with Switzerland

The UK has agreed a Citizens’ Rights Agreement with Switzerland in both a deal and a no-deal scenario.

Find out more information on the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement.

Published 28 January 2019