How French residents can access UK healthcare while travelling

After Brexit, there are some specific rules about travelling from France to the UK to receive healthcare.

person holding a French Ceam card

French cartes européennes d’assurance maladie Ceam cards (equivalent to Ehics) continue to be recognised in the UK, a point agreed in the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

This means that people who are insured in the French system either by working or by living under Puma (eg those who retire early) and those with French Ceam can continue to use these insurances in the UK in order to obtain necessary healthcare while travelling .

If you show your Ceam to the relevant provider, NHS care will be free when you use it, as you will be treated the same as someone in the national system.

However, your insurance does not cover private healthcare, scheduled treatment or repatriation.

Ceam cards can also be used between EU member states. For more information on access to healthcare in the EU, visit Assurance Maladie website.

UK Ehics/Ghics holder

UK S1 holders residing in France until 2021 and protected by the Withdrawal Agreement can still own UK-issued Ehics. New products issued since the end of the Brexit transition period are marked with the letters “CRA” (which stands for Civil Rights Agreement).

Ehics is available in the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland.

UK S1 holders who have moved to France since 2021 have received Ghics. These are available in the EU and Switzerland.

UK issued Ehics/Ghics are not intended to be used within the UK but to access the rest of the EU.

Before Brexit, the UK allowed its national pensioners living in the EU to use NHS services for free when they showed a copy of their S1. The rules in this regard have now changed.

The UK Department of Health and Social Care told connect Anyone who was resident in France until 2021 (the end of the Brexit transition period) and registered for S1 with French Cpam before then will continue to have free NHS access.

If necessary, those with this right should bring a copy of their S1 to show in the UK as evidence.

We know that the same rights should apply to Britons living in France until 2021 who later reach state pension age and get an S1 when they start their pension, but the UK’s DHSC has so far not confirmed this to us.

However, an official UK site Statement: “Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England.

This includes:

  • British war pensioner

  • UK government employee

  • UK nationals residing in the EU on or before 31 December 2020, once they have a UK issued registration S1. “

This does not include new immigrant pensioners with S1s issued from 1 January 2021.

Since they are not entitled to French Ceam, they may be required to pay for healthcare costs incurred during their trip to the UK, and the official UK website states that they should seek to purchase a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage.

A spokesman for Cnam, which runs the network of health insurance offices in the French state of Cpam, said France had no responsibility to reimburse the group for health care in the UK.

Some UK care is ‘free’ for everyone

However, it should be noted that in the UK some care is ‘free’ for everyone when it is delivered. This includes:

  • GP visit (although the practice must accept you as a temporary patient, this is not mandatory)

  • Emergency Department Outpatient Treatment

The UK government website states that, among other things, visitors to the UK will always be treated in the event of emergency treatment and where it is not safe to wait until you get home, and payments will be processed after the fact if necessary.

For overseas visitors not entitled to free healthcare: “The cost will be calculated at 150% of the national NHS rate,” the NHS said.

An indicative surgery price list published by the system shows an X-ray will cost around £40 this year, while an echocardiogram will cost around £120.

A full list can be found here.

related articles

Are UK Ghic applications taking longer than usual to process?

Post-Brexit Travel Healthcare: What is the UK ‘CRA’ Ehic Card?

What health insurance do I need to get a French long-term visitor visa?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *