16 Dec Will British retirees in Spain lose their free access to Spanish health care after Brexit?
Spain is the most popular European retirement destination for Britons, home to around 300,000. Around a third of them are aged over 65. Britons retiring to Spain are attracted not only by a warm climate and Mediterranean lifestyle but also by free access to a well-regarded health system.
Britain is by far the biggest user of Spain’s state-funded, health care system amongst foreign nationals. Britons cost Spain 285 million euros in health care last year, including tourists and pensioners and accounting for nearly half of Spain’s total spend on foreign European Union nationals. Under rules governed by European law, Spain and Britain compensate each other for their citizens’ medical care bills. This more or less covers costs on an annual basis, Spanish social security figures from the last nine years show.
Will British retirees in Spain lose their free access to Spanish health care, currently assured by European Union law, as a result of Britain’s exit? Will Spain seek a bilateral agreement with Britain for it to continue reimbursing Spain for the healthcare of Britons? Without such an agreement, pensioners have no guarantee that Spain will continue to give them free access to health care.
Nothing had yet been decided on the future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements after Britan’s exit. Britons’status has yet to be determined by exit negociations
From Martin Mariño we will follow up negotiations to advice our British clients and keep them updated.