Legislation to put in place a direct-reimbursement scheme for eligible residents of Northern Ireland who incur medical expenses while receiving treatment analogous to that provided under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme was published on the 7th October and began its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas in the Seanad on the 9th October.
It is a persons competent Member State, i.e. the one where they pay social insurance or receive a contributory social insurance pension from, which issues their EHIC. Therefore, an Irish cross border worker in Northern Ireland will currently apply for their EHIC to the UK authorities. In a disorderly Brexit, one where the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, the UK will no longer be the competent Member State for these persons. However, as these persons will no longer be working and making social insurance contributions in another EU\EEA Member State or Switzerland, this State, as the Member State in which they are ordinarily resident and have eligibility for healthcare, will assume competency to issue such persons an EHIC.