Health Insurance for Students in UK
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the favourite educational destinations from students all over the world for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The reason behind the immense popularity is its academic excellence, higher employability rate, a vast range of courses covering almost all the domains, and the shorter duration compared to other abroad study programs.The undergraduate degree program is usually of 3 years, postgraduate is only one year in most of the cases and Ph. D takes three to four years. The UK has a very famous state healthcare insurance called National Health Service, popularly known as NHS. As an international student, you may come under the coverage of this insurance. If you don't qualify, it is better to go for private medical insurance. If you have a tier 4 student visa and you are in the UK for studying longer than 6 months, then you are eligible for the NHS. During the application for a visa, you have to pay a health surcharge in addition to visa application fees.
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Tier 4 Students
You will have to pay £150 annually as an immigration health surcharge. The dependents also need to pay for it. If your visa application fails for some reason, this will be fully refunded (but not the visa application fee).
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This is not a substitute for the NHS. You cannot avoid a health surcharge at the time of the visa application. It is your personal decision whether you will do private medical insurance to increase the number of hospitals. If you already have medical insurance in your native country, you can try to extend it to get the benefits in the UK.
Benefits of NHS
You will get the same benefits as the UK citizens receive. It includes primary doctor appointment fees, emergency treatment costs, compulsory psychiatric treatment expenses, family planning, and some specific communicable diseases treatment costs. These are provided free of cost. But you need to bear for vaccination, prescription, dental and optical treatment costs. In England, Wales and Scotland, the NHS provides 24 hours of healthcare service.
Keep Your Doctor’s Contact At The Earliest
After arriving in the UK, one of your important tasks will be to get some doctors’ contact in your locality. Some universities have a health center on the campus. But it is recommended to keep a list of doctors available for any urgent situation. You can visit the NHS website to find doctors near you.
Register Your Name in the NHS List
Go to the NHS enlisted doctor's office or health center to enroll your name and other necessary details on the NHS list. Do it without delay as the registration process takes some time. Remember to carry a letter from your university and identity card to prove that you have come to study at that particular university. If everything goes fine, you will receive a health card in your mail containing the NHS number.
Visiting Your Registered Doctor
Visit your registered general physicians for common and minor illnesses. Some physicians attend house calls too for those who are too sick to move out.
You will get the prescribed medicines in the local pharmacy stores. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you don’t need to pay for the prescription. But if you stay in England, you have to pay.
Always visit the registered general physician first. Tell him about your concerns and he will refer to a specialist if required.
If you need an ambulance for an emergency, call 999. You can directly go to the emergency department of any enlisted hospital 24*7.
Dental and Optometry
These are not free in most of the cases. First, show your NHS card and ask them whether they accept it or not. If they don't accept, ask for the approximate treatment cost before the beginning of treatment. The above paragraphs provide detailed information regarding the medical insurance and if there is still any kind of doubt that arises within you, feel free to get it clarified from our consultants who have complete knowledge of the subject owing to the number of students they have been successful in helping with their overseas education.