Health Insurance

September, 2012 TSG_PTIMG_0060_Pills

The UK has its own publicly funded health service: the National Health Service, or NHS. The NHS provides medical care free of charge for UK residents, without the need to purchase health insurance.

When you earn money in the UK, you will be charged taxes: a percentage of these taxes go towards paying for the NHS. If you are unemployed, young or elderly, you will not pay taxes but are still entitled to treatment; the taxes of those in employment go towards covering the cost of treatment for all.

When you are registered as a UK citizen, you will be issued with a European Health Insurance Card, the EHIC. This blue plastic card, the same size as a credit card, entitles you to health care when temporarily abroad in another EU* or EEA** member country, or Switzerland. It proves that you are a UK resident, and entitled to medical care. You do not have to pay for this card: you are automatically entitled to health care as a UK resident.

It is possible to purchase additional cover for your health: private health insurance is available from major insurers such as BUPA. Private health insurance entitles you to certain privileges if you become ill: waiting times for diagnostic procedures and for treatment tend to be shorter, and you may be entitled to a single room in hospital rather than a bed in a ward. You will be required to pay for private health insurance cover however this could benefit you if the above is what you require.

For the UKs health System and Private Insurance options see:

Related Articles