How Will Brexit Affect Insurance Coverage?
walking with union jack

How Will Brexit Affect Insurance Coverage?


For UK citizens living in the EU, the Brexit deal left more questions than it answered. In this article, we answer some common questions about health coverage.

If you’re relocating to Germany from the UK, these are particularly uncertain times. On January 31, the UK parted ways with the European Union after reaching a withdrawal agreement—but it wasn’t a clean break. For UK citizens living in the EU, the Brexit deal left more questions than it answered.

If you’ve recently come to Germany or if you’re planning on relocating sometime this year, then you may be wondering how to get covered post-Brexit. We’ll be honest with you: a lot of policies haven’t been set in stone yet, so we don’t have all the answers here. But we’ll give you a breakdown of what we know—and advice on how to move forward.

Pre-Brexit policy

Prior to Brexit, UK citizens were entitled to health care anywhere in the EU with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC allows EU citizens to receive treatment in other EU countries while staying temporarily (e.g. on a business trip, a weeklong beach holiday, or even a semester or year studying abroad). 

It should be noted that the EHIC is intended only for these temporary stays. Those who permanently relocate to or get a full-time job in Germany must register for German health insurance. 

So…what now?

These same pre-Brexit rules apply at least through December 31, 2020. While some experts predict that the health insurance status quo will be extended by another year or two, there are no guarantees until EU and UK lawmakers reach an agreement. For the rest of this year, though, you can count on being able to receive care in Europe with your EHIC. 

What if I’m moving to Germany for a job?

If you’ve got a job, then standard policy applies to you too: you should register with a German insurer.

Need advice? We can help you apply for public insurance in just a few minutes—no German required. 

What if I’m moving to Germany as a freelancer?

Until at least the end of 2020, pre-Brexit rules apply here too. You should be able to sign up for public or private health insurance as a freelancer as long as you can prove previous coverage by the NHS. Read our FAQ to learn more about the signup process.  

Can’t decide between public and private insurance? Learn about your options

Looking ahead

We can’t say for sure how health insurance negotiations will go in the post-Brexit era. But we’re sure we can help you find a policy that’s right for you. Our insurance tool can help you weigh your options and pick the perfect plan.

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