To study in the UK is one of the dreams that international students seek to achieve. In addition to the specialties available at British universities, the UK has one of the best healthcare systems, both public and private. Basically, it aims to provide a wide range of health services, from handling doctor appointments to apply treatment and medical care. Here’s our main takeaways when it comes to health insurance for a student in the UK.
Read also our ultimate guide on studying in the UK.
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How can a student get health insurance in the UK?
In addition to the private care system, the UK has a national health system called the National Health Service (NHS).
In general, health insurance in the UK is for international students who are eligible to benefit from this system. This is under the condition that a student has a visa for at least 6 months.
On the other hand, if the duration of the study is less than six months or if the student is a visitor, it is advisable to get private medical insurance. This is due to the fact that an international student holder of a short-term visa cannot benefit from health insurance in the UK.
Learn the types of student visa in the UK and how to get yours as an international student.
Read also the main reasons your UK student visa might get rejected and how to reapply.
Private health insurance
If a student has private health insurance in his/her home country, they can check with their service provider. This will be done after obtaining a study visa in the UK, to ensure whether it is possible to extend the insurance, and thus benefit of it abroad.
In such a case, a student who has not benefited from UK health insurance may not need to pay for an additional one. This is also the best alternative for students who plan to stay less than 6 months in the UK.
Advantages of the NHS System when it comes to insurance for international students in the UK
Thanks to their system, health insurance in the UK can cover all international students, and they can receive the same benefits as British citizens. This includes chances to visit a general practitioner or private doctor, receiving necessary emergency treatment, and receiving psychotherapy sessions if necessary.
Besides, the diagnosis and treatment of certain infectious diseases at no cost. Therefore, the student only needs to pay for the medicines and vaccines he needs in order to finish his/her treatment. The student also gets a discount on dental care price if they go to see an NHS dentist.
For non-urgent cases, the NHS healthcare system provides a 24-hour telephone service. As for the telephone number assigned to the service, it’s 111. Through this number, the student can get an answer to various questions regarding his medical condition.
How to sign up for health insurance for international students in UK
How much is health insurance for student in UK?
International students should pay £470 per year as long as their visa is valid. This cost aims to benefit from health insurance in the UK. For students who want to stay in the UK for 6 months or less, this cost drops at £235.
On the other hand, if the visa application is rejected, the student will automatically have a full refund of the insurance fees. Students cannot escape from paying medical insurance fees even if they intend to sign up for a special care system.
This is because these fees are mandatory and are a crucial part of the visa application procedures.
You should choose a doctor and register with him as soon as you arrive in the UK. Do not wait until you feel sick, or until you need an urgent medical examination.
To do that, the international student has to bring a document from the university in which he/she submitted their application. This file should state that he/she will benefit from the health insurance system in the UK.
After examining the documents and accepting the application, the doctor’s office is responsible for sending the student’s NHS number by email. Thus, he becomes officially registered and eligible for health insurance in UK.
Awareness of Student life in UK
As an illustration, one of the indications of a good readiness for student life in the UK is to know all the necessary information about the British health care system. More importantly, is how to benefit from medical insurance in the UK.
This is indeed an imperative need, since it reduces the student’s expenses. Moreover, it helps students to be assured about the health care system they will receive.
With having also into consideration that the cost of studying and living in the UK is high, and the student may not be able to afford it.