Thursday, 27 February 2014

Free Healthcare For Early Retirees Under Review by UK Government

Some of you may have heard in the news this week that the British Government are considering axing the current reciprocal arrangements for health care for early retirees living in EU Countries. In a bid to reduce costs, the UK estimates that cancelling this service will save around 4 million Pounds per year.

Under the current system, early retirees who have made sufficient national insurance contributions can obtain an S1 form from the Department of Health in the UK, which will provide up to 2.5 years health cover in another EU country. The system was originally set up to assist those moving to a new country whilst they settled into their new home, looked for work and established themselves. If medical services were needed in the new country the S1 form would be accepted and the medical treatment paid for by the UK Goverment.

If and when the UK Government decide to axe this service, they have advised that it will only affect new applicantes. Anyone who is currently receiving treatment under the S1 scheme will continue to do so (at present anyway), until their form expires.

There have been some suggestions that the scheme will be cancelled in April, but this has not been confirmed. We will keep you posted as and when we receive additional information.

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