Health Services: British Nationals Abroad

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the letter to UK citizens residing in the EU from NHS Business Services Authority dated 23 September 2019, what estimate he has made of the time it will take for his Department to settle payments for the treatment specified in that letter; and if he will publish that letter.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The United Kingdom Government has announced it will fund the healthcare of existing UK-insured individuals living or working in the European Union, on the same basis as now, for a further six months after exit day if we leave without a deal. The mechanisms and the time taken to make these payments will depend on the Member State.

The UK is, in the first instance, seeking to use established processes and continue making payments at country-to-country level as we do now. If Member States do not agree to this, the UK Government will offer to pay healthcare providers in the EU directly. The timing of the payment will depend on when providers or individuals provide the necessary information to NHS Business Services Authority. Payments will be made within five days after a request for reimbursement has been validated.

A copy of the letter sent to UK pensioners and benefit holders living in the EU from NHS Business Services Authority is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-steps-to-protect-healthcare-access-for-uk-nationals-living-in-the-eu-after-31-october

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