Health: Reciprocal Agreements

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd October 2011.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 11 August (WA 414), whether they will seek data from other European Union member states on the number of their state pensioners who have payments made to an address in the United Kingdom; and whether these data could be used in assessing the level of United Kingdom claims to other European Union countries for healthcare and social security costs.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We have no plans to seek such information from other member states as such data would not in themselves form an effective and accurate basis on which to claim healthcare costs. This is because under the provisions of the European Union (EU) Regulation 883/2004:

If someone resident in the UK is in receipt of a UK state pension and also a pension from one or more other member states, the UK is liable for the cost of that pensioner's state healthcare.Where a UK resident is in receipt of a state pension from two or more member states but not from the UK, the member state where that person has the longest record of contributions is liable for their state healthcare costs.

The Government are considering plans to seek information from other member states about citizens for whose healthcare costs those states are responsible. In practical terms those citizens should have been issued with a form S1 by the responsible member states and we are seeking to establish a robust mechanism for registering the forms in the UK, so that we will then be able to ask the relevant member states to reimburse healthcare costs.

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