The last 12 months have been dominated by COVID-19, and due to the global pandemic stopping people from being able to travel abroad, the ramifications associated with Brexit are yet to be experienced – or indeed acknowledged – by many people.
With the vaccine rollout going well, and with COVID-19 cases going down by the day, it seems likely that holidays will be on the agenda shortly, so what do you need to know? What impact has Brexit had and will it impact your ability to obtain health cover?
At the beginning of January 2021, the Government declared that all UK citizens would be able to apply for a scheme known as the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which was created and subsequently launched as part of the post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU.
Previously, UK citizens were able to access a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), though this is now being phased out entirely. However, while the cards are somewhat similar, there are certain limitations that you should be aware of. While the EHIC made a point of not only covering the EU but also other European nations such as Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, the GHIC will not cover these non-EU countries (other than the UK).
To apply for a free GHIC card, simply follow this link to the NHS’s dedicated application page.
What the GHIC covers
The GHIC, just like the EHIC, has been designed to ensure those who are travelling abroad have access to care for one-off emergency medical issues, routine care for pregnant women, as well as treatment for any ongoing chronic illnesses.
Venturing further afield
The UK Government is currently in the process of finalising agreements with a host of other European countries that are not covered by the GHIC (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland). These will likely be finalised in the coming weeks, but for the time being, Norway has confirmed that UK passport holders will be able to get emergency health insurance simply by showing their passport. The other countries have not signed off on any such deal.
When it comes to heading outside of Europe, the UK already has agreements in place in principal with a host of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia. With regard to the remainder of the countries in the world, talks are currently ongoing, and it is expected that some kind of deal will be in place by the summer of 2021.
Take a look at our insurance comparison website today to find a business travel insurance policy that suits your needs.