5. Access to the National Health Service and healthcare cover
European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) and Provisional Replacement Certificates (PEBs/PRCs) issued by German health insurers can still be used in their present form after 31 December 2020 for temporary stays in the United Kingdom. Visitors and tourists with an EHIC or PEB/PRC are entitled to medically necessary treatment on the National Health Service (NHS) as before.
We nevertheless recommend that you take out private travel insurance.
If you have private health insurance, please contact your insurer to find out what you are covered for.
Persons entitled to NHS treatment should carry with them a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) when visiting Germany. This entitles them to medically necessary treatment in Germany even after 31 December 2020.
Further information can be found at nhs.uk
In the United Kingdom, medical treatment is generally provided free of charge by the National Health Service (NHS). Unlike with an insurance system (as in Germany), access to treatment is not based on past contributions, but on whether you are legally resident in the UK at the time of treatment.
To access NHS Primary Care, i.e. to see a General Practitioner (GP) or use emergency care services, you need to be registered with the NHS. All EU citizens can register, regardless of their residence status. However, to access further free treatment (NHS Secondary Care), you have to be able to prove that you are “ordinarily resident” in the UK. You need to prove that you are staying lawfully and voluntarily in the UK, that you do actually have a domicile there (and are intending to stay), and – as a citizen of an EU country (or of the European Economic Area) – were resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020. All EU citizens with settled status, pre-settled status or who have been granted “indefinite leave to remain” can access NHS services free of charge.
From 1 January 2021, EU citizens moving to the UK generally need a visa. Those entering the country for a stay of longer than six months have to pay an NHS surcharge (the “Immigration Health Surcharge”) before a visa can be granted. Persons with existing healthcare cover from their country of origin (students, persons with an S1 certificate, e.g. pensioners) can have the surcharge refunded on application.
Further information can be found at gov.uk