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The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations amend the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 (“the Principal Regulations”), which provide for the making and recovery of charges for relevant services provided under the National Health Service Act 2006 (c.41) to certain persons not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.

Regulation 1 contains commencement, citation and interpretation provisions. The Regulations come into force on exit day, as defined in Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act 1978 (c.30).

Regulation 2 amends regulation 2 of the Principal Regulations to insert definitions of “competent institution”, “Regulation (EC) No 883/2004” and “Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71”.

Regulation 3 amends regulation 7(2) of the Principal Regulations, which sets out how relevant bodies calculate charges for services provided to overseas visitors ordinarily resident in an EEA state or Switzerland. It requires the charges imposed on such visitors to be the national tariff charge for those services. Regulation 3 also inserts new paragraphs (2A) and (2B) into regulation 7, which provide that the national tariff applies where such services span exit day (or end before exit day, if charges are imposed after exit day).

Regulation 4 revokes regulation 12 of the Principal Regulations which concerns overseas visitors with EU rights.

Regulation 5 substitutes regulation 13 of the Principal Regulations. The substituted regulation 13 exempts overseas visitors from charges if they are ordinarily resident in an EEA state or Switzerland, were ordinarily resident there before exit day and either held a UK-issued reciprocal healthcare document (an S1 or A1 healthcare certificate, European Health Insurance Card or equivalent document) or would have been eligible to do so if, when the treatment was provided, exit day had not occurred.

Regulation 6 amends regulation 14 of the Principal Regulations to provide an exemption from charges for overseas visitors for relevant services provided in circumstances covered by a reciprocal agreement with an EEA state or Switzerland which comes into effect on or after exit day.

Regulation 7 inserts new regulations 14A and 14B into the Principal Regulations. Regulation 14A provides an exemption from charges in respect of treatment, the need for which arises during a visit, for overseas visitors who are either Irish or British citizens and who are ordinarily resident in the Republic of Ireland. Regulation 14B provides an exemption from charges for frontier workers who work in the United Kingdom (and began doing so before exit day) but reside in an EEA state or Switzerland, to which they return at least once a week.

Regulation 8 inserts new regulation 24A into the Principal Regulations, which sets out exemptions from charges which will apply on a transitional basis to overseas visitors from an EEA state or Switzerland (a “relevant visitor”) in relation to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

New regulation 24A(1) provides an exemption from charges for treatment provided to a relevant visitor on or after exit day which is part of a course of treatment which was authorised before exit day in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 or Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71.

New regulation 24A(2) provides an exemption from charges for treatment provided to a relevant visitor on or after exit day if the visit began before exit day and the relevant visitor held a valid European Health Insurance Card at the time the visit began and the need for treatment arose (or held a Provisional Replacement Certificate when the treatment was provided).

New regulation 24A(3) provides an exemption from charges for relevant visitors who are students on a course of education or training which began before exit day. The exemption applies until the end of the student’s course.

New regulation 24A(4) and (5) provides exemptions from charges for services provided before 31st December 2020 for EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members who live in the United Kingdom, are not ordinarily resident for the purposes of the Principal Regulations but are eligible for leave to remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules.

Regulation 9 makes amendments to regulation 25 of the Principal Regulations consequential on the revocation of regulation 12, the substitution of regulation 13 and the insertion of regulations 14A and 24A(3). Regulation 25 provides exemptions from charges for family members of certain overseas visitors who are eligible for exemptions from charges.

Regulation 10 adds the Faroe Islands and EFTA states to the list of countries in Schedule 2 to the Principal Regulations which concerns reciprocal agreements.

An impact assessment has been prepared in relation to these Regulations and is published with these Regulations on www.legislation.gov.uk and copies can be obtained from the Department of Health and Social Care, 39 Victoria Street London SW1H 0EU.

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