Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Health Care in Europe

On the 27th October 2010 the European Parliament voted to ease the way for a more unified system of health care costing across Europe.  I quote  from the EU announcement..  "The new rules would especially help retirees living abroad, people with rare diseases and those living near borders to get the best health care. Currently, only about 1%, or €10 billion, of public health budgets are spent on cross-border health care yearly, although that figure could rise with standardised rules for authorisation and reimbursement."
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To read the full announcement click on the following item
 It would seem that the matter is not finally agreed until next June.  
Last May 1st there were new Regulations which came into force which appear to make it necessary for British expatriate pensioners to have their health costs fully paid 100% by the UK NHS.   The UK [your home country] is under European Law the 'competent State' for the health care support of all those persons who are the titular holder of an 'S1' or 'E121'.   If you receive a full Old Age Pension from the UK it is desirable that you ensure that the DWP in Newcastle recognise that you have this cover, and that the CPAM in France are aware of your possession of such a cover.
I quote again from the announcement " Under the proposal, patients are to be reimbursed up to the level they would have received in their home country."
The EU Regulations are not straightforward and I fear the UK Whitehall bureaucracy does not aid the expatriates. 
If the pensioner expatriate does possess the entitlement of an S1-or E121- then under these new rules it seems very likely that the NHS will pick up the whole cost of approved treatment.  If you are not entitled then the situation is confused and you may need to maintain a full mutuelle cover.  We need anyway, further information.