The UK since the Brexit has been blowing our minds!!! One thing is for sure, the English are no longer part of Europe, but apart from that? Does it change anything if I want to move to London in terms of health insurance? Will I still need my European Health Insurance Card? In short: how does it work?
Don’t panic, now you know: Qiti answers all your questions!
A system similar to the French one
This is a godsend, as it makes it much easier to understand: the British system is very similar to the French one. There’s the NHS (National Health Service), the equivalent of our social security system, and the PMI (Private Medical Insurance), a mutual insurance scheme. Neither is compulsory, but both are strongly recommended. In the event of hospitalization, you’ll be asked for your insurance number. If you’re absent, guess who’s going to foot the bill? That’s right: you! And when you consider that a hospital stay can easily exceed €10,000, you’d better believe that you’ll end up having to put your nose to the grindstone when it comes to health insurance!
National Health Service
It corresponds to the public system. Entirely tax-financed, it is available to residents of more than six months, or to workers and their families without delay. All you have to do is go to your nearest Department of Social Security or Benefit Agency, and fill in the appropriate form. This free registration gives you access to your medical card, with an NHS number.
This system, with its “tiers payants” logic, works without any advance payment. But there are a few rules to observe. You must always see a general practitioner before going to a specialist (he or she will refer you). Above all, to benefit from the free service, you must consult doctors affiliated to the NHS.
The big problem with this system, which is found just about everywhere in the public sector, is the length of the waiting lists. What’s more, you have to pay a flat rate of around £9 or £10 for drugs.
Private Medical Insurance
The PMI complements the NHS, to alleviate the problem of waiting times for specialist consultations and hospital admissions. On the other hand, you will always be limited by a set network of care providers, and you must stick to it or you won’t be reimbursed! This can be a problem: some non-British specialists practicing in London (French doctors, for example) are not approved by health insurers across the Channel.
Pour souscrire, rien de plus simple : en ligne ou en agence, à votre convenance. Attention : Vous serez soumis à un questionnaire médical pour valider votre adhésion.
Post-Brexit European Health Insurance Card
Good news, the EHIC is still valid post-Brexit thanks to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed between the UK and the EU at the end of December 2020 (more info on brexit.gouv). However, it tends to be replaced by another document. But if you have a card issued before January 1, 2021, you can use it freely in the country until it expires. For all others, you can obtain a provisional replacement certificate from your health insurance fund.
With this card, benefits are provided under the same conditions (NHS terms and conditions, tariffs) as for insured persons in the country where you are staying. You will therefore be limited to the public system. What’s more, and this is important to note, you will be reimbursed according to the reimbursement terms in force in your country. So for French people, reimbursements will be relatively low, as the cost of healthcare in England is higher than in France.
Assurance Santé Internationale
International health insurance fills the gaps left by the NHS and PMI. In other words, you won’t be limited to one network, so you’ll be able to see the doctor of your choice. Rest assured! You’re not out in the wild. If you don’t know where to turn, you still have access to a list of practitioners validated by your insurer! And among them, you’ll find some who speak your language! That’s a big plus if you don’t speak English yet! These contracts cover you for 100% of the actual costs incurred, with reimbursement from the 1st euro.
Et quand vous rentrez dans votre pays de nationalité, ou que vous partez en vacances ? Contrairement aux assurances locales, vous êtes couverts en dehors du Royaume-Uni ! Vous pouvez donc voyager sans craintes, avec une couverture complète dans votre pays de nationalité, et les zones inclues dans votre contrat.
Alors maintenant que vous avez toutes les clés en main, vous prenez vous billets ?
Des questions ? On vous répond !