The UK government this week introduced a new law to safeguard UK citizens’ healthcare abroad after Brexit for the 190,000 expat state pensioners who have chosen to live in the EU
The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill will give the government legal powers to fund and implement healthcare and “safeguard healthcare for 190,000 expats and 50 million people who travel abroad every year, through agreements with the EU or member states”
Reciprocal healthcare benefits include:
- reducing the cost of insurance
- making travel more viable for older people and high-risk groups
- providing a boost to the travel economy
- 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.)
These reciprocal arrangements are yet to be accepted by individual EU countries but at least it shows willingness by the UK to attempt to work things out after many months of apparent inaction.