Under a European Union Directive introduced in 2004, if someone is in receipt of a state pension from two or more members states but not from their member state of residence, the member state where that person has the longest record of contributions is liable for their state healthcare costs.
The United Kingdom has paid €1,202.1 million to Ireland from 2007 in compliance with this regulation in respect of UK pensioners living in Ireland while Ireland paid the United Kingdom €98.2 million in respect of Irish pensioners living in the UK.
The annual sums paid to Ireland were 2008 €450 million; 2009 €108.1 million; 2010 €353 million and 2011 €290 million.
The annual sums paid by Ireland were 2008 €25.4 million; 2009 €24.4 million, 2010 €25.4 million and 2011 €22.8 million.
Claims are made in arrears, sometimes several years in arrears. Payments made in any one year will therefore relate to claims for previous years and do not reflect the value of claims made in that specific year. The timing of payments can therefore vary significantly and have a bearing on the totals paid or received.
A person who is ordinarily resident in the UK is entitled to access National Health Service treatment free of charge. Nationality is not a criterion in establishing ordinary residence. This EU Regulation enables a member state to claim the cost of healthcare for posted workers, pensioners and their dependents and the dependents of workers who have registered as residents in another member state to that which is liable for the cost of their healthcare. A British person resident in Ireland, for example, should hve the same entitlement to access the Irish healthcare system as other residents of the country
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