The Health Insurance Group, a leading health insurance intermediary in the UK, is here to help you gain a better understanding of the range of options available to you as an international student.
Whenever you visit a foreign country, ensuring that your health is catered for is a primary concern. So understanding the options available to you is vitally important.
For international students arriving in the UK, the healthcare system could be seen as very different from their own, with institutions such as the NHS delivering free healthcare; equivalents of which may not be found in many other countries. It can be hard for many to understand what they are covered for, and for how long.
Upon arrival in the UK, and confirmation of eligibility, international students who are entitled to NHS healthcare can access care from the NHS for the following:
- Emergency medical treatment (follow up care is not included)
- Family planning services
- Diagnosis and treatment of certain communicable diseases
- Compulsory psychiatric treatment
To be eligible for healthcare on the NHS, there are a number of conditions that must be met. Students are considered based on a number of factors, including immigration status, the length of their course and where they are studying (as different rules apply in Scotland for example).
The NHS cover ensures that a student’s basic level of healthcare is catered for during their stay in the UK. Visitors from within the EU should also ensure that they have access to their EHIC card to receive care on the NHS.
However, many visitors to the UK may choose to take out personal health insurance to cover themselves against ongoing health issues not catered for on the NHS. The reasons that individuals decide to choose this form of care even when they have access to free health cover are many, but can be derived down to the following key points:
- You won’t have to queue – you get the option to bypass NHS waiting lists which can exceed 18 weeks
- Choice – you choose where to receive your treatment as well as when
- Treatment – you will receive healthcare from health professionals with you as the primary concern, helping to get you back to health as soon as possible
Having this level of cover delivers peace of mind to many who take out health insurance policies, and there are a wide range of international health insurance providers who can deliver this to their customers.
Whatever your requirements, the UK health system has the capacity to help you remain fit and healthy for the duration of your studies. And for those who have just begun their time at University in the UK, best of luck!