Here is the official UK government wording on the continuation of Social Security Coordination between the UK & EU from Brexit:
“The provisions in the Protocol on Social Security Coordination will ensure that individuals who move between the UK and the EU in the future will have their social security position in respect of certain important benefits protected.
Individuals will be able to have access to a range of social security benefits, including reciprocal healthcare cover and an uprated state pension.
Article 114. This Protocol supports business and trade by ensuring that cross border workers and their employers are only liable to pay social security contributions in one state at a time. Generally, this will be in the country where work is undertaken, irrespective of whether the worker resides within the EU or the UK, or indeed whether the employer is based in the EU or the UK.
Article 115. UK workers who are sent by their employer to work temporarily in an EU Member State which has agreed to apply the “detached worker” rules will remain liable to only pay social security contributions in the UK for the period of work in that EU Member State. Similarly, if an EU worker is sent by their employer to work temporarily in the UK from a Member State which has agreed to apply the “detached worker” rules, they will remain liable to only pay contributions in that EU Member State.
Article 116. Under the Protocol, the UK and EU Member States will be able to take into account relevant contributions paid into each other’s social security systems, or relevant periods of work or residence, by individuals for determining entitlement to a state pension and to a range of benefits. This will provide a good level of protection for people working in the UK and EU Member States. The Protocol also provides for the uprating of the UK State Pension paid to pensioners who retire to the EU.
Article 117. On healthcare, where the UK or an EU Member State is responsible for the healthcare of an individual, they will be entitled to reciprocal healthcare cover. This includes certain categories of cross-border workers and state pensioners who retire to the UK or to the EU.
In addition, the Protocol will ensure necessary healthcare provisions through the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The benefits of the GHIC are very similar to those provided by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme, and allows you to receive state-provided healthcare in all EU countries. However, unlike the EHIC, it does not allow you to receive state-provided healthcare in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The GHIC provides you with the same standard of public healthcare cover as the citizens of the relevant country. This may result in healthcare free of charge.
Therefore, UK residents can use the GHIC to get state provided emergency and “necessary healthcare” when visiting an EU country at a reduced cost or free of charge, on the same terms as a local. Necessary healthcare is defined on the NHS website as “healthcare which becomes medically necessary during your stay, and you cannot reasonably wait until you’re back in the UK to get it.” This means individuals who are temporarily staying in another country, for example a UK national who is in an EU Member State for a holiday, will have the necessary healthcare needs met for the period of their stay.
The GHIC is free of charge and covers a range of necessary medical treatment from public healthcare providers such as doctors visits, prescription medication and basic and emergency dental treatment. For more information on the GHIC, including how to apply, please visit the NHS website
(source – UK government summary annex – UK-EU TRADE AND COOPERATION AGREEMENT Summary December 2020)
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