Application submissions for temporary S1 health forms for people within the United Kingdom heading to alternative European Union states will not be accepted from July 1, states the UK’s Department of Health.

The cessation of the forms, that permit early-retiree expatriates as much as two-and-a-half years of French state health cover, has actually been considered since last year and it was initially indicated that the UK might stop issuing them last month.

A junior health minister, Jane Ellison, verified this new date in a statement, adding that while doing so government will cease undertaking “EHIC co-payments” which means the UK reimbursing EHIC owners for the portion of travelers’ health care in other EU member states that isn't repaid to the countries own citizens, in countries like France which have partial refund systems.

The minister said the UK is not required under European Union law to do either of these and it's the only state giving S1s to early retirees.

The result is that no further application submissions for “residual” (short term) S1s will be accepted after July 1, the statement said. On the other hand “this change does not affect current holders of residual S1s or the right of UK state pensioners to access healthcare when they retire to another EEA state”.

This means that permanent S1s - mostly given to United Kingdom state pensioners - will still be issued. A Department of Health spokeswoman added: “These changes only apply to new applications for residual S1s. All existing residual S1 forms will remain in place and continue to be valid until their cessation date.”

The changes (which include stopping EHIC co-payments) are estimated to indicate a saving of “up to £7 million a year” to the UK, which the spokeswoman said “could be put back into frontline care”.

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