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Old Feb 7th 2005, 2:55 pm   #1
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Default NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

This has probably been asked before but as I'm about to take a trip back to the UK (this Saturday) it suddenly dawned on me, am I covered for health using the NHS? I have been to the UK several times before on visits and never given it a thought as I assumed that because I'm a British Citizen that the NHS would cover me if needed; also for the first time since leaving the UK I am going to visit my mum and dad in Spain (where they are retired) and I'm now confused as to weather the NHS would cover me there as well. I may be totally wrong and find out that I've never been covered! Any advice please?
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 3:14 pm   #2
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodle
This has probably been asked before but as I'm about to take a trip back to the UK (this Saturday) it suddenly dawned on me, am I covered for health using the NHS? I have been to the UK several times before on visits and never given it a thought as I assumed that because I'm a British Citizen that the NHS would cover me if needed; also for the first time since leaving the UK I am going to visit my mum and dad in Spain (where they are retired) and I'm now confused as to weather the NHS would cover me there as well. I may be totally wrong and find out that I've never been covered! Any advice please?
apart from emergency treatment no.

not covered for anything in Spain.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 6:05 pm   #3
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manc
apart from emergency treatment no.

not covered for anything in Spain.
What he said. Plus even if you were covered you'd need to do an E111 for Spain.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 6:09 pm   #4
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

NHS is now a residency based system. Only if you have lived in Britain in the last 3 months.

If you go back to live in Britain - you would be covered from the first day you move back.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 6:11 pm   #5
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manc
apart from emergency treatment no.

not covered for anything in Spain.

Just phoned my health insurance company here which is United Health Care and thought I'd ask if they would cover me and surprisingly they said that they do. On the policy that I have they pay 70% at the out of network rate with a $300 deductable and $600 limit per family for any medical treatment. I would have to pay first and they would reimburse me later. Alternatively I have had a look on line for travel insurance and found loads of policys. For a family of five with up to $1,000,000 medical expenses $100 deductable and loads of other included benefits like theft, flight delay, etc.,etc., the cost is around $170.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 6:35 pm   #6
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodle
This has probably been asked before but as I'm about to take a trip back to the UK (this Saturday) it suddenly dawned on me, am I covered for health using the NHS? I have been to the UK several times before on visits and never given it a thought as I assumed that because I'm a British Citizen that the NHS would cover me if needed; also for the first time since leaving the UK I am going to visit my mum and dad in Spain (where they are retired) and I'm now confused as to weather the NHS would cover me there as well. I may be totally wrong and find out that I've never been covered! Any advice please?
Hi yes you will be covered for the NHS. The only thing is you need to be registered with your local doctor. If you still have your yellow NHS medical card with your number on it this is used when you re -register at a doctor and they will pull your fill from the head office were all files are sent. If you did not tell your local Doctor you had left to go and live in the US they may still have your file at there office. They had my file at my old Doctors. With you being a UK citizen you will have no problem. I got it all when I went home to have my baby no questions asked and I have been away from the UK for 19 years living in different countries. I changed doctors while I was there due to were I was staying and when I left they told me I had to re-register if I came home. If you need to register again you may have to wait up to a month for and apointment or you could get lucky and get seen strait away. You should give your Doctor a ring and ask them if you are still on file or make an appointment before you go home. I am not sure about spain but yes I think you need the E111 when you go.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 7:02 pm   #7
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shish kebab
Hi yes you will be covered for the NHS. The only thing is you need to be registered with your local doctor. If you still have your yellow NHS medical card with your number on it this is used when you re -register at a doctor and they will pull your fill from the head office were all files are sent. If you did not tell your local Doctor you had left to go and live in the US they may still have your file at there office. They had my file at my old Doctors. With you being a UK citizen you will have no problem. I got it all when I went home to have my baby no questions asked and I have been away from the UK for 19 years living in different countries. I changed doctors while I was there due to were I was staying and when I left they told me I had to re-register if I came home. If you need to register again you may have to wait up to a month for and apointment or you could get lucky and get seen strait away. You should give your Doctor a ring and ask them if you are still on file or make an appointment before you go home. I am not sure about spain but yes I think you need the E111 when you go.

Legally not true. If you have been away for more than 3 months. You will probably be able to get away with it though....

But technically not entitled.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 7:04 pm   #8
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Here are the rules:


http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidan...Visitors/fs/en
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 7:07 pm   #9
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shish kebab
I got it all when I went home to have my baby no questions asked and I have been away from the UK for 19 years living in different countries.
Technically not correct, morally disgusting.

health tourist and nothing more
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 9:58 pm   #10
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manc
Technically not correct, morally disgusting.

health tourist and nothing more
Amen Sister Manc. I'd like to add wanker to the health tourist part too.
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Old Feb 7th 2005, 10:19 pm   #11
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibsie
Amen Sister Manc. I'd like to add wanker to the health tourist part too.
I agree also. You knew you were flouting the rules. You qualify after being away for 3 MONTHS not 20 years!!! Why and earth would you believe you were entitled. This is the reason taxes are high - cheaters!

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Old Feb 7th 2005, 11:26 pm   #12
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Oh I must have been the one of many that slipped through the big loop hole then. I do know the rules and followed them all down to the last dot on the paper I had to sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manc
Technically not correct, morally disgusting.

health tourist and nothing more
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Old Feb 8th 2005, 12:46 am   #13
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shish kebab
Oh I must have been the one of many that slipped through the big loop hole then. I do know the rules and followed them all down to the last dot on the paper I had to sign.
Depends. The residency based system is newish - but has been in place for a few years. If you left the UK when fairly young (thinking this must be the case if you left 19years before you had a baby) then you could barely think you paid enough taxes to fufil the requirements.

If you had the baby in the last couple of years - then your statement cannot possibly be true.

That said, not exactly tricky to cheat the system.

Last edited by britchicknyc; Feb 8th 2005 at 1:48 am.
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Old Feb 8th 2005, 3:26 pm   #14
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by britchicknyc

Thanks for this information, very helpful. Well it looks like my family and I are not entitled to any NHS care in Britain or Spain. Not a surprise regarding Spain but a bit of a surprise for the UK. May be it was wishful thinking but I thought that as my husband and I are British citizens who had lived in the UK for 38 and 34 years respectively, never having claimed social security in our lives and have been away for work for six years basic NHS treatment would be granted for us. I wonder how many other people know or dont care about this, I know loads of people, expats, who regularly go to the UK and get medical treatment by simply going to the emergency room. They have never been asked for any ID let alone any documention as the Dept. of Health insist on. I'm glad I found out as I would hate to be considered a 'sponger' draining the NHS of funds. It appears that the five year mark is the magic number, after that you are on your own regardless of how many years you have lived in the UK or how much you have paid towards the NHS. Out of curiosity I wonder how the other European countries treat their expats? Just a thought.
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Old Feb 8th 2005, 3:33 pm   #15
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Default Re: NHS health cover while visiting UK and Spain, am I covered? Advice please

it isn't a question of citizenship. It is a question of residency.

The NHS is not there to benefit UK citizens, but UK residents.
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