We have just received the following update from the British Embassy in Lisbon:
From 1 January 2021, S1 forms will no longer be issued to UK nationals living in the EU that receive one of the benefits mentioned in the letter. Please note that this policy change does not affect those who qualify for an S1 form on the basis of another benefit, such as a UK State Pension.
These changes are not connected to the EU exit process, but are the result of a review conducted by the DWP following a number of legal challenge relating to the way S1s were being issued to the recipients of exportable benefits.
It is worth bearing in mind these key points:
- This policy change does not affect those who qualify for an S1 form on the basis of another benefit, such as a UK state Pension.
- There will be no changes for those in receipt of these benefits with existing S1 forms.
- Those with time-limited S1 cover will be able to renew their S1 form (even after Jan 1) as long as they are still in receipt of the benefit.
- Since healthcare in Portugal is residency-based, anyone affected by these changes here will, of course, keep their right to access state-sponsored healthcare on the grounds of residence.
If any of your members/contacts are affected by the changes and have any questions, please direct them to the Overseas Healthcare Service (OHS) 0044 191 218 1999 or ask them to contact the healthcare team by sending an email to email@example.com.
If you feel it would be useful to share this information further with your members, please feel free to do so. We would recommend that you direct people to the most up to date information, which can be found on https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/moving-abroad/planning-your-healthcare/ .
Please also see the attached document: