It has been a year on since the Brexit vote and there are still lots of questions circulating as to what will be affected after Britain leaves the EU. A query that is on the minds of British travelers is regarding where the EHIC stands. For those who don’t know, The European Health Insurance Card is a medical card which can be used in the EU. It entitles you to medical cover while on your travels without the worry of paying any extra costs. If a particular country receives free treatment, then you will also get this benefit. Should anything go wrong while you are abroad, owning an EHIC will reduce a lot of stress and worry. According to the Department of Health, over 27 million people possess one of these cards.

So, is there a definite answer as to whether the EHIC will be valid for British Citizens once we are out of the EU? As of current, it still remains valid after the triggering of Article 50. A lot of speculation has risen as to whether it will be axed in 2019.  No matter what Britain may face from leaving the EU, it is a smart idea to hold an EHIC for any upcoming travels you have planned. This is free to do and can be an absolute life saver on your travels.

Considering non-EU countries such as Switzerland are still valid in the EHIC scheme, there is hope that Britain will be able to take the same route. Officials from the UK Government state “The EU should be keen to keep Britain on-board the EHIC scheme, as we return billions in health costs and funding to the European Union”. This is a very valid point, but it can be argued that once we are out of the EU, we shouldn’t receive any of it’s benefits

Another factor that may persuade Britain to remain in the EHIC scheme is tourism. Being removed from the EHIC scheme creates the risk of a decline in British travelers due the large up-front costs involved if they become injured. This will have a direct effect on popular tourist destinations that rely on British tourists to remain a healthy economy. British tourists will find themselves encouraged to go to non-EU destinations or even stay at home. Health insurance can be expensive and the loss of an EHIC card will create many financial strains.

When the future of EHIC was questioned earlier in the year, the Brexit secretary hinted that it may be cut. One of the major factors in deciding whether the EHIC will remain available to British citizens is whether there is a separation from the EEA. If Britain cuts ties with the EEA, the EHIC will become nonexistent. However, until negotiations are actually finalized, no one will know where the EHIC will stand when Britain leave the EU.

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