Do I need healthcare insurance when buying property abroad?

Depending on your individual circumstances it may be worth considering health insurance, especially if you’re planning a permanent move abroad. There’s a lot to think about that can affect your access to healthcare aboard and in your home country. Does my EHIC card cover medical costs? Are you planning to live between two countries? What do standard reciprocal agreements cover? Will you be reimbursed if you have to pay medical costs upfront?

The EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card entitles you to free or reduced cost healthcare in countries within the European Economic Area (EEA). In addition, to standard illnesses and injuries requiring medical treatment, routine maternity care and any pre-existing medical conditions are both covered by the card, but an EHIC card does not guarantee you won’t have to pay anything or that you will be reimbursed for the full costs. Furthermore, EHIC does not necessarily cover you for everything. For instance, EHIC only allows free medical care to the same level that is available to the citizens of that country, so if a local citizen is expected to pay for things like a broken leg or an air ambulance then you would also be liable for those costs, which could run into the tens of thousands.

While most European countries have reciprocal healthcare agreements in place, if this does not apply to you (i.e. you’re buying outside Europe or the country you’re from is not in Europe) you should carefully consider whether a healthcare insurance policy would be beneficial. Getting sick or sustaining an injury abroad can be stressful enough without having to worry about medical costs as well.

For UK citizens, with Brexit on the cards, there’s a lot of uncertainty about access to healthcare in the near future, so getting a quote in advance could help you budget for the future.

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For more information about health insurance you can use the relevant links above. Or if you’d like to speak to someone, call us on 01244 478 911 or email

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Article published: July 23, 2019