Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Manx minister plans health insurance guarantee

Health Minister Eddie Teare
Eddie Teare hopes to introduce the proposal in March

Proposals to guarantee health insurance for any Isle of Man resident who wants to travel to the UK could be brought before Tynwald next month.

Health Minister Eddie Teare wants to introduce the scheme before the end of the UK reciprocal health agreement.

From 1 April, Manx visitors to the UK will no longer be eligible for free treatment if they fall ill.

It has led to fears that some elderly people will not be able to obtain insurance to leave the island.

Speaking in the House of Keys, Mr Teare said the Manx insurance industry had responded to the change by making a number of policies available.

"However, I do recognise that there will be some who will be unable to obtain cover at an affordable cost, or indeed obtain cover at all," he added.

"I intend to bring forward a proposal to the March sitting of Tynwald which, if approved, would ensure that no person would be denied travel cover whilst they are enjoying a short tip in the United Kingdom."

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