Alliance promises bespoke solution on post-Brexit travel insurance
The GSLP/Liberal Alliance on Wednesday said that, if re-elected, it will deliver a solution in respect of travel insurance for Gibraltarians who have been unable to obtain insurance since the end of the Withdrawal period in 2022.
In a statement, the GSLP/Liberal Alliance said this will be aimed at people who have pre-existing health conditions who are unable to obtain travel insurance for these purposes, or those who simply cannot afford the cost of the premiums they are called upon to pay.
“Since Gibraltar’s departure from the EU, Gibraltarians have no longer been covered by the E-111 programme which provided emergency healthcare throughout the EU,” the Alliance said in a statement.
“The effect of this for many of our citizens, especially amongst the elderly and infirm, has been to curb the ability of those affected to travel abroad – whether across the border to Spain, or further afield on longer breaks.”
Fabian Picardo, leader of the GSLP/Liberal Alliance, said: “We know that this is a real issue of genuine and painful impact on our elderly and infirm.”
“Before we left the EU, all our citizens who were well enough to travel but that had any long-term conditions or, quite simply, an apprehension about their potential frailty, had the comfort of knowing that whenever they crossed the border into Spain, whether for regular trips for short periods or on longer trips away, their healthcare needs would be covered by the E-111 programme.”
“Since our departure, those same citizens have either had to take out specific travel insurance endorsed for their pre-existing conditions, paying significant premiums, or, more likely, for those unable to afford them, they have simply had to give up on travel altogether or assumed a real risk by traveling without such cover.”
“We will provide a solution for them.”
Alliance candidate, Nigel Feetham, said he believes he can address this “very difficult” situation by creating a Gibraltar-targeted solution.
“In the last few weeks I have been indicating that, as Minister for Financial Services, if we are elected on 12 October, I will work to set up a captive insurance product by and for the People of Gibraltar,” Mr Feetham said.
“I understand that, for the bulk of the electorate, the technical language of the insurance industry might not be immediately understood, but what this is, in effect, is an insurance vehicle that would be able to provide healthcare coverage to Gibraltarians who are otherwise unable to obtain this, including those with pre-existing conditions.”
“I hear too many examples of elderly citizens who, despite latent or underlying medical conditions, are in good health and want to travel but find they are confined to Gibraltar because insurance is either not available to them, or just prohibitively expensive.”
“That is simply not on, and I will work with the providers in the insurance industry locally to create and deliver a solution, however innovative or revolutionary, that addresses this real need in the community.”
“We will work to deliver this solution.”
For his part, Dr Joseph Garcia, leader of the Liberal Party said: “One other possibility we’re looking at, independently of the excellent initiative I am sure Nigel will deliver on, is that, in the event of securing a safe and secure deal on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU, the UK may be able to agree to provide worldwide healthcare coverage to all Gibraltarians as part of peripheral arrangements we are discussing with them.”
“Either way, it is an issue that we are dedicating our minds and our efforts to, as we do not consider this something we just have to accept for Gibraltar as a fact of life in a post-Brexit world.”
For his part, Mr Picardo said the Alliance is applying itself to “finding solutions to our challenges”.
“We are the team of experience, continuity, and change.”
“Whatever we are called upon to do, we get the job done.”
“Now Gibraltar will hopefully do its job, to vote for all 10 excellent GSLP/Liberal candidates and Keep Gibraltar Safe.”
“In doing so, we will also provide this solution for the issues being faced by so many of our older citizens.”