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EXPATS TO PAY FOR UK HEALTHCARE

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Tighter controls mean that British expats without the necessary paperwork can no longer expect free medical treatment during trips back to the UK

Tighter controls within the NHS mean that British expats without the necessary paperwork can no longer expect free medical treatment during trips back to the UK, said OverseasGuidesCompany.com.

“Previously, some expats have been able to travel back to the UK to take advantage of free healthcare for certain conditions, without questions over their residency status,” said Elaine Ferguson, Head of the Resource Centre at OverseasGuidesCompany.com.

“But forthwith, non-residents of the UK, including British expats who are resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) and who are not UK state pensioners, will have to pay for NHS treatment they receive back in the UK out of their own pocket, unless they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their European place of residence or the necessary medical insurance.

This excludes treatment in A&E departments and GP surgeries. Similarly, expats resident in a country outside of the EEA will be billed 150 per cent of the NHS national tariff for any NHS care they receive if they are not covered by suitable medical insurance.

“Meanwhile, qualifying UK pensioners living in the EEA, which includes all EU states, have nothing to fear as they are now entitled to the same level of NHS care as pensioners resident in the UK, so long as they are registered for healthcare in Europe with an S1 form.

“This clamping down is an example of how the UK’s austerity measures are affecting expats.

Times are changing and if you’re not a UK pensioner, you can no longer just nip back to the UK for free healthcare when it suits you – and this should be taken into consideration before relocating abroad. Healthcare should be a key concern of anyone moving abroad, in particular if you are retired or approaching retirement, so now it’s even more important to be satisfied with the standard – and, if applicable, costs – of medical treatment that will be available in your new home.”

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47234/

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