Expats lose whilst health insurers win due to Brexit

Expats lose whilst health insurers win due to Brexit

Expats lose whilst health insurers win due to Brexit

Older Brits who’re planning to leave post-Brexit Britain for sunnier EU member states must now take into account the need for an expensive private health insurance package.

For decades, retiring to a warmer, cheaper location on the European mainland has been the plan of many Britons coming up to retirement age, but Brexit has turned the dream into a nightmare, especially as regards healthcare. It’s not just free healthcare that’s at risk, as the UK government is now proposing to remove all entitlement to social security benefits such as carer allowances and unemployment payments.

As has been stated many times, British pensioners and their families in EU member states arriving before the end of this year will be protected by the already agreed withdrawal notice, but those planning to move during 2021 will need to recalculate their priority spending. Although there’s been a raft of benefits available to UK expats in Europe, whether retirees or workers, the only one now remaining is the UK state pension, meaning even those who’re now settled in their EU country of choice will now be disadvantaged.

One example, given the present coronavirus panic, is that new arrivals who’ve taken on jobs and subsequently lost them will only be credited with unemployment benefits for the time spent working in the new country. Previously, expats’ entire work history was counted when benefits were calculated. Other social security benefits are still under discussion but, again due to the pandemic, ratification of the relevant convention is unlikely to take place this year. As regards the loss of free healthcare, the worst affected by the new rules will be those with disabilities or ongoing conditions.

Next week, a new round of Brexit talks will take place, beginning on July 2 in Brussels, with social security issues high on the agenda. It’s to be hoped that those Britons wishing to emigrate but unable to beat the ticking clock by December 30th may be given some reassurance as regards the rights the Brexit referendum snatched away.

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