§ Mr. GROVES
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction felt and expressed by insured persons who have contributed to the health insurance fund for many years and find themselves at the age of 70 precluded from further participation in the benefits of the fund; and whether he will take steps to enable them to continue to participate, especially in the case of those not eligible for old age pensions.
I am not aware that there is any general dissatisfaction on the part of insured persons on the subject referred to by the hon. Member. An insured person ceases to be entitled to sickness or disablement benefit on attaining the age of 65, at which old age pensions now become payable, but notwithstanding the fact that thereafter he is under no liability to pay any further contributions either for health insurance or pensions, he remains entitled for the rest of his life to all the other benefits under the Health Insurance Scheme, that is to say, to medical benefit, maternity benefit and any additional benefits provided by his approved society in the form of treatment, such as dental, ophthalmic or hospital benefit. I have no power to authorise the continued payment of sickness or disablement benefit after the age of 65.