NHS Refund for medical treatment abroad? How it is possible to get a refund for treatment abroad and is it legal after Brexit? European Union directive states that a patient living in the UK has the right to choose a service provider in the EEA (European Economic Area) and can lawfully get an NHS refund for treatment abroad the costs from the NHS. For instance, if you live in the UK can seek healthcare abroad and on some occasions be reimbursed. Well known European Health Insurance Card, which soon will be replaced with GHIC.
If you are planning to receive treatment abroad, or have already received treatment abroad – you have the right to seek reimbursement for any of the following treatments:
- Emergency or necessary medical care for acute problems.
- Outpatient services such as doctor consultations, various types of diagnostics, dental care, medical care received in outpatient departments of hospitals, arthroscopic surgery, vein surgery, laser eye surgery, etc.
- Inpatient health care services that require an overnight hospital stay. In this case, the NHS will require prior authorisation. We, therefore, recommend contacting us before you travel to enable us to obtain the necessary authorisation.
Refund for treatment received BEFORE Brexit
You have a right to make a claim till the end of 2021 if treatment was received between 2014 and 2020 in the EU or EEA. This includes all services usually provided by the NHS, including Urgent, emergency, necessary, outpatient and inpatient medical services. Medical assistance could be provided by both state and private healthcare providers.
If you have paid for your treatment in the EU between 2014 – 2020 you have a chance to get refund, but time is limited and will be only considered if applied till the end of 2021. Contact us and no fee and no-obligation offer from us. Maybe we can help you as we have already helped over 2000 people to claim their refund for treatment abroad.
Refund for treatment received AFTER Brexit
After Brexit rules on refund have changed, and there are only two options now:
- Urgent, emergency or necessary medical assistance.
Medical assistance is considered urgent or necessary when travelling in an EEC country. For example, Mike lives in Manchester and travels to Spain through France on his summer holiday. Unfortunately, he has an accident that requires hospital treatment. Mike receives medical treatment in France which he pays for. When Mike returns to the UK he can ask the NHS for a refund. In other words, all unplanned medical services that you had abroad. Mike can apply for a refund even if he did not have EHIC/GHIC or the clinic did not accept it. You can apply for an unplanned treatment refund now.
Outpatient services or usual outpatient services are MRI, CT, USG or other diagnostic scans, consultation, physiotherapy, one-day surgeries, fertility treatment, etc. can be clarified as necessary medical assistance.
- Pre-planned inpatient hospital treatment including specialised hospital treatment
the NHS require pre-approval. Contact us before going abroad and we will apply for authorisation on your behalf. For example, Mike decides to have prostate surgery in France and his treatment will involve a two-night stay in the hospital He needs to obtain a permit in the UK prior to travel. Usually planned treatments abroad are ACL reconstruction, gynaecological operations, spinal disc decompression surgery, hip replacements, endometriosis surgeries etc.
Some clinics in Europe have agreed to accept NHS patients with the S2 form after Brexit. In order to get the S2 form you will need to have a private consultation with a surgeon in Italy (online or physically). After consultation, we will do the rest and the NHS should issue permission to travel abroad within 4 weeks. After that you will be placed on the waiting list in the clinic and treatment usually will be provided within 3 months, depending on your condition.
The application process to get a refund for treatment abroad from NHS?
- Send us the necessary documents for reimbursement.
- We will evaluate the documents and will contact you if we need additional information.
- We will prepare a request for reimbursement of your costs through the NHS.
The NHS will confirm reimbursement via email and once confirmed, the NHS will send you a cheque within thirty days.
Necessary documents to get a refund for treatment abroad
You will also need a receipt/invoice or other proof of payment and a letter/report from the doctor, describing the condition/diagnosis, and confirming the medical need for the treatment in order to apply for reimbursement.
If this document does not specify the treatment received (i.e. marked simply as “dental care” or “medical services”) you will need a report/statement or other documents with more detailed information about the services received and a breakdown of costs along with a letter from the care provider (Doctor, or any other person that is authorised to sign documents in the clinic).
You will need two proofs of residence: for example a bank statement, lease/tenancy agreement or utility bill.
Documents must be in English or translated into English. We can arrange a translation for you.
Don’t wait in a queue – go abroad!
Brexit has not limited your right to get treatment abroad. If you are on a waiting list waiting for an operation or any other service that is available under the NHS you can exercise your right to have your treatment done in a private clinic abroad. We will organise your trip and claim reimbursement from the NHS. You can legally jump the NHS queue and get a refund for treatment abroad!
If you live in IRELAND and had unplanned treatment abroad you can apply for a refund via our application form. In addition, people who live in Ireland can get HSE surgery sooner like it used to be under NHS in the UK.