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ESS propose "safety net" UK health agreement

ESS propose

Friday 14 February 2020

ESS propose "safety net" UK health agreement

Guernsey and Alderney residents who fall ill while visiting the UK could have their treatment paid for by the States if they cannot afford health insurance.

Employment & Social Security has proposed a new health insurance scheme for people who require hospital treatment while visiting the UK, four-and-a-half years after being asked by the States to come up with a replacement for the Reciprocal Health Agreement.

Committee President Michelle Le Clerc said there had been an extensive process investigating different options. 

“This scheme will provide a safety net for those people who are unable to get medical insurance at a reasonable cost, but want to visit relatives in the UK," she said. "The Committee hopes that people will be supportive of the scheme.”

People who wish to make use of the scheme, if approved by the States, will need to provide evidence that they are unable to obtain insurance, and that they do not have significant savings that would cover the cost of a medical bill.

Anyone who is approved to be covered by the scheme would be issued with a card that they could present to a UK hospital, in the event that they need NHS secondary care while in the UK.

People would be required to pay the first £250 of their medical bills, with the States paying the rest, up to a maximum cost of £250,000 per person per incident. 

The exploration of a new Reciprocal Health Agreement with the UK is being "actively progressed" by the Policy & Resources and Health & Social Care Committees, but there is no indication at this stage when such an agreement may be reached. 

Pictured top: Deputy Michelle Le Clerc. 

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