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Health insurance for migrants 'still a possibility'

The Government will continue to explore the possibility of requiring visitors from overseas to take out health insurance before arriving in England, according to its response to an earlier consultation on the issue.
While 56% of the 188 respondents to the consultation did not support the idea, the Government has confirmed that it will continue to consider its merits and risks.

The Association of British Insurers told the Government that introducing the requirement would not encourage markets to develop and warned of possible administrative problems, such as in cost recovery, if the policy was purchased overseas. If purchased in the UK, the underwriting process could be onerous and expensive due to handling medical records from many countries, it said.

The Government has confirmed more generous rules concerning eligibility for free NHS care for UK residents who spend some of the year abroad: they may be absent from the UK for up to six months in a year, rather than three months, before potentially being liable for charges for NHS treatment

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