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Health Insurance for the UK

If you are an overseas visitor, here is some useful information about the healthcare system in the United Kingdom.

The UK has a public health service administered by the NHS (National Health Service) since 1948. This system is based on the principle that good healthcare should be available to all citizens living in the UK, regardless of their ability to pay.

Although the healthcare is free for British citizens, depending on the treatment, the NHS might charge non-UK residents, and advance payment is to be made before getting treated, unless it is an emergency.

Going to see a doctor or emergencies

Some treatments and services in the UK are exempted from charges for all those who need them, regardless of whether they live in the UK. For more information on the services free of charge check out the following website:

Nevertheless, most hospital and dental treatments will most likely be charged if you are visiting the UK, especially is you’re admitted to hospital. Therefore, unless your country has a reciprocal agreement with the UK, or are from the European Economic Area (EEA), we recommend hiring a health travel insurance before traveling to the United Kingdom.

Check out if your country has a reciprocal agreement with the UK:

Visitors from the EEA

If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), we recommend traveling with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you don’t, you might get charged by the NHS. It is important to keep in mind that this card doesn’t include costs such as being taken back home, or if your personal items are stolen, therefore you might want to consider getting travel insurance as well. 

Hiring private health insurance

Check out your different insurance policies 

Before hiring any type of private health insurance, it is always a good idea to make sure that none of your other insurances offer this type of service, for example, your car or house insurance.

Another option is to make the most of the insurances offered by your credit card. It is wise to check the clauses before buying the flight tickets, since sometimes you get health insurance included if you buy the tickets with your credit card.

How to hire an international travel health insurance?

If you don’t have any insurance that covers travel to the UK and would like to get one, Columbus Direct offers international travel insurance at great prices without compromising cover. Find out more on their official website: