On 18 November 2020, HM Government of Gibraltar published a Technical Notice on “European Health Insurance Cards and Healthcare”. By way of update to that Technical Notice, the Government wishes to further inform the public of the following.
Subject to the point made below with respect to Spain, all current Gibraltar-issued European Health Insurance Cards (“EHICs”) will expire on 31 December 2020 and will no longer be valid for use in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. Notwithstanding the above, the Gibraltar Health Authority Health Card (“GHA Health Card”), which is printed on the front of current EHICs, will remain valid for use locally in Gibraltar as normal until its expiry date. There is therefore no need for you to apply for a new GHA Health Card unless your GHA Health Card has expired.
As a result of the Royal Decree published by the Government of Spain today, persons with access to public healthcare in Gibraltar will continue to be able to receive treatment in Spanish public healthcare providers, in terms similar to those which were provided under EU law, until 30 June 2021. Therefore, pending confirmation that current Gibraltar-issued EHICs will be recognised in Spain until this date for these purposes, current Gibraltar-issued EHIC holders will, until 30 June 2021, be able to access medically-necessary healthcare during a temporary stay in Spain.
Separately, as from 1 January 2021, the Government will invite persons who come within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and who require an EHIC to apply for a new Gibraltar-issued EHIC. New Gibraltar-issued EHICs will follow a slightly different design format. As a general rule, those in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement for these purposes are persons who, prior to 31 December 2020 and thereafter, are:
- EU/EEA/Swiss nationals legally residing in Gibraltar who are subject to Gibraltar social security legislation;
- UK nationals (including British Gibraltarians) legally residing in the EU/EEA/Switzerland who remain subject to Gibraltar social security legislation;
- Persons who have been issued with a Gibraltar S1 Form or are entitled to be issued with a Gibraltar S1 Form; and
- Gibraltar students studying in the EU/EEA/Switzerland.
Particularly at this time, as the GHA deals with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, persons in scope should only apply for a new Gibraltar-issued EHIC if one is required. Therefore, if you are in scope, you should only apply for a new Gibraltar-issued EHIC if you plan to temporarily travel to an EU Member State or an EFTA State after 31 December 2020 and wish to be able to access medically-necessary healthcare during a temporary stay abroad. A new Gibraltar-issued EHIC is not required to access medically-necessary healthcare in your country of residence and you are reminded that current GHA Cards will remain valid for use in Gibraltar as normal.
Furthermore, even if you do not have a new Gibraltar-issued EHIC or do not obtain one in time before you travel, you would still be able to apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate by contacting the GHA at the point at which the treatment becomes necessary.
Finally, given the limited number of Gibraltar students currently studying in an EU Member State or an EFTA State, the Department of Education is making arrangements with the GHA for such students to be contacted directly for them to be informed of these new requirements and to arrange for them to be issued with new EHICs.
This Notice is meant for guidance only.
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