The unbearable confusion of Brexit


A new survey from insurance startup Cuvva has highlighted that a considerable proportion of UK residents believe that they will lose access to free healthcare in the EU regardless of the outcome of Brexit

As the Brexit hangover continues to drag on and on, confusion over what this means for UK travellers visiting the EU compounds further. Cuvva’s survey of more than 2,000 UK residents, which it conducted through independent provider OnePoll, revealed that one in four (41 per cent) of people asked didn’t know how leaving the EU will affect access to healthcare. In addition, with the EU having now granted the UK an extension on Brexit that will last until the end of January 2020, a worrying number of UK citizens (31 per cent) now believe that regardless of the Brexit outcome, UK residents will lose access to free healthcare in the EU.

Thankfully, Cuvva has been able to clear up some confusion. The Brexit extension essentially means that holders of the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) can continue to access necessary state-provided healthcare until a deal is cemented and details are agreed, the insurance provider asserted. However, in the case of a no-deal exit, the EHIC may no longer be valid. 

“EHIC is a good addition to comprehensive travel insurance but it’s not an alternative. State-provided healthcare might not always be accessible in an emergency, which could leave one with a large bill to settle, if private healthcare is the only option,” said Freddy Macnamara, Founder of Cuvva.

Unsurprisingly for our readers, Cuvva suggests having comprehensive travel insurance in place to ensure that all bases are covered. And so do we. But Cuvva goes one step further, with a helpful comparative table clearly depicting the difference in cover that an EHIC and travel insurance will provide:



Comprehensive travel insurance

State-provided emergency medical care

Free or at a discount rate


Comprehensive medical cover

Limitations depending on country visiting





Lost or damaged luggage/sports equipment



"In the next few months of more uncertainty, covering all your bases when travelling in the EU is best, to safeguard oneself from any unnecessary disruptions,'' added Macnamara.