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UK to provide healthcare coverage for expat retirees in EU

06 November 2018

The British government has introduced a bill aimed at continuing the funding of EU-based Brit expat pensioners’ healthcare in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The government says the bill “seeks to safeguard healthcare for 190,000 expats and 50 million people who travel abroad every year, through agreements with the EU or member states”.

It will establish the basis for a new arrangement allowing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme to continue after 2020, subject to an agreement with the EU. EHIC grants UK nationals access to free healthcare abroad, and pays for 250,000 medical treatments each year.

For the 190,000 state pensioners who have chosen to live in the EU and those intending to retire to the EU, it will help by safeguarding reciprocal healthcare if there is no EU deal.

Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, said: “Whether on holiday, working or retiring abroad, British people want to know they can access the same high quality healthcare that they enjoy in the NHS.

“This Bill will allow us to implement new healthcare arrangements with other countries – in the EU and elsewhere – so that UK citizens can travel with confidence.”

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