A bill has been brought before Parliament that aims to safeguard healthcare for British expats and travellers after Brexit.
The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill will establish the legal basis to fund and implement reciprocal healthcare schemes and share necessary data with other countries.
The government said reciprocal healthcare arrangements can reduce the cost of insurance and make travel more viable for older people and high-risk groups.
The bill will establish the basis for a new arrangement allowing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme to continue after 2020, subject to an agreement with the EU.
EHIC grants UK nationals access to free healthcare abroad and pays for 250,000 medical treatments each year.
For the 190,000 expat state pensioners who have chosen to live in the EU and those intending to retire to the EU, the bill will help by safeguarding reciprocal healthcare if there is no EU deal.
Lord James O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, said: “Whether on holiday, working or retiring abroad, British people want to know they can access the same high quality healthcare that they enjoy in the NHS. This bill will allow us to implement new healthcare arrangements with other countries – in the EU and elsewhere – so that UK citizens can travel with confidence.”