NHS Cross-Border Healthcare

Eligibility criteria for the EU Directive

  • Be UK resident
  • Provide evidence of your medical needs
  • The treatment must be available on the NHS
  • Get prior approval, required for some treatments
  • Reimbursement limited to the cost of the treatment under the NHS

What you need to know about the EU healthcare directive

In 2011 the EU passed a directive permitting EEA residents to travel abroad to receive medical treatment.

This has meant that all residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) have the right to purchase healthcare services from other member states and apply for reimbursement for the cost of the treatment from their home healthcare system.

The EU directive on cross-border healthcare is similar to the S2 scheme, with a few significant differences

How the EU directive on cross-border healthcare works

The EU directive gives you the right to purchase medical treatment abroad and apply for reimbursement from your healthcare system, NHS in the UK. The conditions for eligibility for reimbursement is that, firstly the treatment is a medical necessity and it is available under the NHS. The scheme covers treatments in both state run and private care providers.

You may be required to make the payment for the treatment upfront and claim the cost back on your return home, up to the value of the treatment in the UK under the NHS.

Some treatments abroad will require prior authorisation. Getting prior authorisation will confirm your entitlements status for the treatment you need and will make you aware of any other treatment options under the NHS. It will also prevent any unwanted and inconvenient surprises when it comes to applying for reimbursements.

If undue delay applies to your case, i.e the waiting time for the treatment you require is too long under the NHS, you must be permitted to travel abroad to receive your treatment. This also applies if you go through the S2 route.

To ensure you don’t face difficulties when claiming your money back, consult your doctor and contact the NHS where you will be provided with more information about the options available to you.

How to Apply

If you need prior authorisation for your treatment or to apply for funding or reimbursement then you’re required to fill in the. FUNDING FOR TREATMENT IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA) APPLICATION FORM. When claiming your money back you must provide orginal receipts and proof of payment.