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Article by: Sam Orgill sam.orgill@proactpartnership.com Published: 24/08/2007

EU Health Service

What they take away they give. The EU Health Directive came into force on 1st January 2006 and this allows EU Citizens to obtain state health service treatment anywhere in the EU and 4 other countries including Iceland & Switzerland.

A new system of common National Health Services for EU citizens comes into force on 1st January 2006. In effect all the member states health services are now available to any EU citizen. No matter what your feelings for the EU project this is a real benefit to EU Expatriates living or working in other EU states.

Leaving the UK

Anyone who is planning travelling abroad form the UK and is a UK resident should apply for the new EU Health Card be fore they leave. The UK Health Service will issue UK residents a Card confirming they will pay for your medical treatment while living or travelling abroad in the EU for up to 5 years. There are errors in the issue of cards so make sure yours is dated for five years correctly otherwise it might be invalid when you need to use it.

This is adequate ‘Health insurance’ to meet Cyprus Immigration requirements. That’s a bonus for any one under state retirement agent does not now need to have private medical insurance.

You may not consider the local health service meets your needs and want private treatment anyway but it is available to EU citizens and an important safety net if you want to use it.

The EU Health Card is not a substitute for full travel insurance but for certain travellers it works pretty well.

Already In Cyprus

Many people come to us and are already in Cyprus but haven’t completed immigration procedures to complete registration and integration within Cyprus. This can be a source of potential problems if you are ill as Cyprus and UK Health service provision is generally based on residency.

In the UK non residents are now being taken off doctors lists and you may be refused treatment if you go to the UK. How do you deal with these situations?

If you have a UK address you remain resident there officially and receive UK Health Service treatment as usual. You can obtain the EU Health card for travel abroad but this leaves you open to higher taxes on pensions and savings (20-40%) whether you are working or retired.

If you don’t have an address in your country of residence then help is still available by transferring you Health service entitlement to Cyprus but first you must be registered here.

If you receive a pension or work and pay Cyprus social insurance then you are entitled as an EU citizen to obtain Cyprus Health services. Many people who haven’t registered at immigration are losing out on there entitlement.

Get Registered

If you live in Cyprus for more than 3 months a year you are legally required to register with immigration in Cyprus – just as EU nationals must do in the UK. If you are resident for more than 6 months a year you are legally required to register for Cyprus tax – both income and EU Savings tax (see above). Note that Cyprus personal taxes are the lowest in the EU and you can save between half and three quarters of tax paid in the UK.

Therefore if you are resident in Cyprus and not registered now is the time to consider getting your affairs in order. Professional advisers like ProACT can sort immigration within two weeks and smooth the way to tax registration and rebates.

Medical Cards

Once registered as resident in Cyprus you can apply for a Cyprus Medical Card entitling you to Cyprus Health Services. Do note though that these are means tested and if you earn over £9000 per year there are fees in the Cyprus system that rise on a scale up to £18,000.

These charges are balanced by lower income tax with many people paying little or no tax in Cyprus on pensions under £11,000 GBP.

Both Ways

You can then also now obtain an EU Health Card issued by Cyprus. There is need a certificate E121 from the UK if you are a pensioner but not in if you are working here.

If you are registered with immigration and tax authorities as retired or working then you can apply the EU health Card through Cyprus. This can then be used in the UK when returning on holiday and it will cover travel to other EU countries.

This removes uncertainty as the UK NHS is cracking down on non residents claiming medical treatment. With an EU Health card you can free medical care in the UK while on holiday there. If you ever return to the UK permanently you can reregister into the system.

Cyprus Health Service

Don’t forget that the Cyprus Health system is not the same as the UK. Specialist treatment and drugs may not be available locally or involve travel to Nicosia. There are no paramedics in ambulances. If your income is over £9000 then you will have to pay towards the cost of your treatment. Having said that the doctors are good and treatment is high quality.

Private Medical Insurance might be an additional consideration to cover the gaps or just because you get a better level of service. Cover is available locally or internationally if you want the option to be treated abroad or back in your home country.

Review and Do

The benefits of being properly registered have improved greatly giving access to tax savings, health services and family control. For the majority of clients we find ways to help out and provide peace of mind.

Sam Orgill

ProACT Partnership

Tel + 357 26 819 424

info@proactpartnership.com

www.proactpartnership.com

 

External Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=65

Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=65

Please contact the author at sam.orgill@proactpartnership.com for more information.

 

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