Pensioners: Health Services

House of Lords written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the latest year for which figures are available, how many registered United Kingdom state pensioners for whom the United Kingdom is responsible for health costs were living in each of the other European Economic Area countries, and vice versa; and how much was paid and received by and from each country.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the annual reduction in the United Kingdom payments to the Republic of Ireland of 1.13 per cent for pensioner healthcare costs will continue beyond 2013–14; if not, what new arrangements are being made; what were the most recent annual payments made and received from that state; and whether they will place the relevant correspondence on the current reduction process in the Library of the House.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Information about how many registered United Kingdom state pensioners for whom the UK is responsible for health costs were living in each of the other European Economic Area countries, and vice versa; and how much was paid and received by and from each country is provided in the following tables.

Live 5 December 2014, UK responsible for Live 5 December 2014, Foreign authorities (FA) responsible for
Registration UK Registration FA
S1 & E121 S1 & E121
Austria 592 Austria 42
Belgium 500 Belgium 133
Bulgaria 610 Bulgaria 8
Croatia 23 Croatia 0
Czech Republic 132 Czech Republic 4
Denmark 28 Denmark 50
Estonia 27 Estonia 3
Finland 53 Finland 0
France 43,421 France 121
Germany 2,987 Germany 365
Greece 2,428 Greece 5
Hungary 412 Hungary 3
Iceland 6 Iceland 1
Ireland 37,442* Ireland 1,323*
Italy 2,905 Italy 11
Latvia 37 Latvia 1
Liechtenstein 0 Liechtenstein 0
Lithuania 29 Lithuania 4
Luxembourg 50 Luxembourg 6
Malta 2,646 Malta 2
Norway 46 Norway 98
Poland 458 Poland 108
Portugal 3,668 Portugal 6
Romania 26 Romania 2
Slovakia 21 Slovakia 3
Slovenia 75 Slovenia 2
Spain 73,028 Spain 24
Sweden 148 Sweden 100
Switzerland 351 Switzerland 21
The Netherlands 253 The Netherlands 1,029
The Rep of Cyprus 12,236 The Rep of Cyprus 0
Total 184,638 Total 3,475


MedBens system


*Based on the formula calculation for 2013

European Economic Area (EEA) Medical Costs
Claims by EEA Member States Against UK (by Article)
Resource Outturn Totals: 2013-14 Pensioner Activity
Country £ Paid by UK £ Paid to UK
Austria 1,814,008 180,715
Belgium 2,179,591 478,212
Bulgaria 37,499 14,207
Cyprus 10,890,351 0
Czech Republic 116,251 10,513
Denmark (Waiver)1 N/A N/A
Estonia (Waiver)2 N/A 0
Finland (Waiver)3 0 0
France 112,221,440 340,119
Germany 3,182,712 1,196,524
Greece 6,181,850 13,639
Hungary (Waiver)3 0 0
Iceland 0 0
Ireland 223,761,423 6,707,569
Italy 3,889,593 24,755
Latvia 18,256 0
Liechtenstein 0 0
Lithuania 10,341 10,868
Luxembourg 320,396 12,730
Malta (Waiver)3 N/A N/A
Netherlands 1,142,037 2,533,415
Norway (Waiver)2 0 0
Poland 358,835 190,376
Portugal 3,912,765 14,491
Romania 2,048 0
Slovakia 9,212 3,321
Slovenia 57,255 0
Spain 208,654,883 72,172
Sweden 422,315 321,365
Switzerland 1,308,223 65,812
Total 580,491,287 12,190,802

Source: Resource Accounting and Budgeting exercise. Totals are based on estimates of the costs of EEA healthcare claims made annually for the purposes of provisions made in the Department accounts in accordance with Treasury resource accounting rules.


1. Denmark – Full Waiver

2. Estonia and Norway – Waiver, excepting former Article 22.1c (patient referral) and Article 55.1c (industrial injury) claims.

3. Finland, Hungary and Malta – Waiver, excepting former Article 22.1c (patient referral) claims.

I refer the noble Lord to HL3094 and the extract from the letter of 11 July 2011 included in that reply. In that extract, it sets out that for the period of the current arrangement, 2010-2013, UK liability would fall by 1.13% a year, starting at 40% and resulting in a UK liability of 35.48% in 2013. The 1.13% reduction was agreed after both parties agreed this figure as the average downward trend in UK liability for pensioners since the start of the bilateral agreement in 1971.

Discussions on new arrangements to determine respective pensioner numbers for 2015-16 onwards are continuing. Subject to formal confirmation we expect that the previously agreed 1.13% reduction will continue to apply for 2014-15.

The UK’s pensioner payments to Ireland for 2013 were €211 million. This represents a payment on account, which is 80% of the estimated total payment due and settled that will be finalised following publication of Ireland’s average costs for that year. The pensioner payments from Ireland to the UK for 2013 were £5.9 million.

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