What is a UK Ehic ‘CRA’ card?


UK Ehics (European Health Insurance Cards) issued since the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of 2021 now feature the letters ‘CRA’ – causing some people to wonder what this means.

Ethics is used for necessary health care (which cannot wait for you to return home) when visiting EU countries.

‘ARC’ stands for ‘Citizens’ Rights Agreement’ and relates to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA), which was signed between the UK and the EU on 24 January 2020.

Despite the word ‘European’ remaining in the name of the cards, it was agreed in the WA that the UK would be able to continue to issue Ehic cards to people with rights under the WA.

This was in the general spirit of the agreement, that people who exercised their right to free movement before Brexit, including Britons in the EU and EU citizens in the UK, should be able to continue to live largely as before.

Until the second Brexit treaty, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was signed on December 30, 2020, it was unclear whether the UK would be able to continue delivering another ethic, or an equivalent, to those not covered by the WA, as the Ehic scheme is in principle an EU scheme, allowing mutual cooperation across the Union for essential travel healthcare needs.

As the Brexit transition period drew to a close at the end of 2020, the UK invited those affected to apply for a new ‘ARC’ ethic, saying the old UK ‘EU’ ethic may cease to be valid. after the transition period.

These bear the lettering ‘CRA’ and no EU star.

Who is ARC Ethics for?

ARC Ethics is aimed at groups covered by the WA, including:

  • UK S1 holders (state pensioners and some disability benefit recipients) living in the EU, who have always received a UK ethos and not the French equivalent (European Health Insurance Card), as the UK Uni pays for their health care. It was agreed to continue under Brexit WA. Their ethics would be valid for five years, as is usual for British ethics. These can be used to access healthcare in other parts of the EU when travelling.
  • UK students studying in EU institutions before the end of the transition period, who could receive a card valid for the duration of their studies.
  • EU citizens living in the UK before 2021 and having “settled status” in the country under the WA agreement.

However, once the ATT treaty was signed and ratified, it was clarified that the UK could continue to issue its own version of the Ehic, called the Ghic (Global Health Insurance Card), because similar healthcare co-operation health had been agreed in the ATT. when the UK was part of the EU.

What are the current rules regarding Ehics and Ghics?

The current situation is that:

  • People who still have old UK ‘EU’ ethics can still use them until they expire
  • UK residents using the NHS for healthcare and wishing to travel within the EU and apply for a new card receive Ghics
  • UK state pensioners moving to the EU since 1 January 2021 also receive a Ghic
  • UK state pensioners or disabled people living in the EU on WA, with ‘S1’ entitlements from before the end of the transition period, receive a ‘CRA’ Ehic when applying for a new map.
  • Some people are also eligible for a CRA Ehic if a close family member such as their spouse is eligible for a

The purpose of the ‘CRA’ lettering is to clarify that these are UK ethics with continued validity, for those covered by Withdrawal Agreement rights, as opposed to people who would otherwise receive a Ghic under the TCA.

Is there a difference between the benefits attached to the cards?

In practice, there is no difference in the health rights conferred by either card, but if both cards can be used in EU states and Switzerland, CRA Ehics can also be used in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, unlike Ghics.

This may change in the future due to bilateral negotiations, and it is already possible for UK nationals to access necessary healthcare when visiting Norway using their UK passport, until a new agreement is in place.

For UK S1 holders living in the EU, the CRA Ehic or Ghic is not for healthcare when visiting the UK, but while UK state pensioners living in France with a registered S1 issued in the UK before 2021 can access free healthcare in the UK, UK state pensioners who move to France after 1 January 2021 may be charged for certain services.

However, in the UK, no one is charged for primary care such as GP visits or outpatient treatment in A&E.

Previous articles

Ehics: What do French residents need to access the NHS when traveling to the UK?

Better rules for UK pensioners moving to France for access to S1 forms

What health insurance do I need for a French long-stay visitor visa?


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