British nationals living as expatriates in Spain have so far enjoyed superb healthcare cover here because the UK is a member of the European Union. Foreigners who make their national insurance payments are eligible to use the firstclass Spanish healthcare service, not only for emergencies but for long-term medical treatment too.
British citizens can presently receive free medical care anywhere in Europe with the use of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a situation that has been a source of comfort and security for anyone living or travelling abroad in Europe.
However, with Brexit looming on the horizon and casting some area of doubt over these current agreements, it has been positive to hear the recent news relating to a new bill going through the British parliament. The proposed legislation: the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill, will allow Brits residing in Spain and the tourists who visit each year to continually be covered for health and medical issues.
If the proposed bill is approved, there will be no change in healthcare status for British people living in and visiting Spain, and the UK government will be able to make separate deals with individual EU member states. The British authorities are taking steps to ensure that their citizens will be able to receive medical attention in any European country, and that health insurance costs will be kept to a minimum – and is looking to guarantee the same for EU citizens in the UK.
Pending an agreement between the UK and the European Union, the existing EHIC scheme is now expected to be extended after 2020.
Once passed, the new healthcare regulation will bring assurance and peace of mind to British people who live in Spain on a long term basis. All expatriates, either working or enjoying their retirement, will continue to receive the precious free healthcare here as they would be entitled to within the UK’s own National Health Service.
Winkworth is an established UK real estate company that specialises in premium real estate between Sotogrande and Marbella on the southern coast of Spain.