No Deal Brexit and Concern About the S1 and EHIC

Posted in: Brexit, Information Topic,
Author: Myra Cecilia Azzopardi
Tags: , , ,

CAB Spain have been avoiding publishing the UK governments numerous communications received daily on a no deal scenario. There have been some cases when we have felt it would be responsible to publish. In this case and in relation to a communication sent by the Overseas Healthcare Team (NHS) to a UK national planning to spend a few months in the UK in July 2019.

With the new regulations of April 2015 on payment for healthcare in the UK, UK state pensioners have been entitled to medical treatment with the use of the S1 and not the EHIC as previously. The pensioners were assured of full health cover when visiting the UK and equal to pensioners resident in the UK. Should the UK exit the EU on March 29, this may no longer be the case.

The UK government guidance on the S1 for those residing the EU:

S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependents access healthcare in the EU/EEA country where you live. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until 29 March 2019.

After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states. You should go to the NHS website for the latest information on each country.

You can continue to apply for an S1 certificate until 29 March.

NHS Travelling in the EU.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare when visiting the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland is likely to change.

If you’re using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by the UK, this will still be valid until 29 March 2019.

If you’re planning to travel on or after 29 March, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need.

Email from the Overseas Healthcare Team. to the UK national visiting the UK for a few months.

“Dear XXXX
“As you are a resident who uses the S1 certificate, this may no longer be valid after 29 March 2019. The advice is to check what the latest healthcare arrangements are between the UK and the country British nationals currently live in, in your case Spain. More information can be found on

Until further agreements are reached between the UK and individual EU member states, the government advises UK citizens to follow this latest guidance to ensure they are fully prepared for any unexpected healthcare requirements overseas.

For more information visit the country by country guide on
Unfortunately I cannot provide any more information on this subject. Please let me know if you have any further queries and I will try assist you best I can”.

Further email received from NHS 19/02/2019.

“Dear xxxx,
That’s no problem, I understand that this must be quite stressful for you given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Unfortunately I am unable to provide you with any absolute answers as negotiations are on-going and there are too many variables to consider. I would urge you to contact the relevant health authority in Spain and find out what you may have to do to register for healthcare if the worst happens. I wish I could give you more information or a better answer, and should I find out any definitive I will ensure that I pass the information straight onto you”.

Kind regards,Please note that the above is the case for a withdrawal from the EU without a deal. Should there be a deal, you have been assured that nothing will change until December 2020. We expect that this should include the S1 and the EHIC.

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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