European country with 'most expensive healthcare' for Britons named – full list


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New research from William Russell revealed the most expensive country to make a medical claim while travelling or living there.

The team at William Russell analysed health insurance claims data to discover the most costly countries to get sick or injured without cover for British expats, and Denmark has the highest average claim value of £5,569, according to the study.

Therefore, international health insurance is incredibly important for protecting British travellers’ and expats’ health and wallets.

Denmark was followed by Taiwan with an average claim value of £2,948, and Qatar with an average medical claim value of £2,204.

Spain came in the seventh position as British expats and tourists without international insurance can spend an average of £1,535 on medical claims.

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The study revealed the most expensive claim abroad is medical evacuation with the average cost sitting at a huge £10,237.

This is followed by pregnancy complications and emergency procedures, with an average medical claim of £8,704.

Claims such as treatment for cancers, home nursing costs or palliative care are also some of the most expensive claims.

When British expats relocate to another country after retirement, they may need to visit a hospital at some point so having medical insurance is key.

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The Government’s website explained British expats living in Spain can have free access to healthcare once they are registered.

However, although some basic state services are free, there are some things that patients need to pay for, including prescriptions.

UK nationals can access the Spanish national health system in one of these ways:

  • Through entitlement to healthcare if they’re employed or self-employed and make social security contributions in Spain.
  • Registering a UK-issued S1 form with the social security office.
  • Through entitlement to healthcare as a permanent resident if they’ve lived in Spain for five years.
  • Paying directly into the public health insurance scheme (Convenio Especial)
  • using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays when studying, or as a posted (detached) worker.


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