Studying abroad is an exciting adventure that comes with its own set of challenges. One of the difficulties that international students face when studying in the UK is learning how to get the most out of the country’s healthcare system and making sure they have adequate health insurance. Without the right insurance, international students may have trouble paying for medical care if they need it in the UK, where healthcare is expensive. 

Having health insurance can help with the financial burden of medical care and open the door to a wider variety of services not provided by the National Health Service. Peace of mind and access to treatment when you need it is two major benefits of UK health insurance for international students. In addition, international students planning to enrol in a university or college in the United Kingdom may be required to show proof of health insurance.

In this article, we’ll go over an overview of the British healthcare system, why it is so important, and what to keep in mind when making international student health insurance plans. Moreover, we will provide some guidance and materials to help international students understand the UK healthcare system and select appropriate health insurance. This blog will help you navigate the system of UK health insurance for international students and select an insurance plan that meets your specific needs.

What is the NHS (National Health Service)?

The NHS, or National Health Service, is the health care system in the UK that is funded by the government. It was started in 1948 and offers a wide range of medical services, such as basic care, medical treatment, psychological services, and public medical services.

The NHS is paid for by general taxes, and all UK citizens can use it for free. The NHS is thought to be one of the biggest and most complete healthcare programmes in the world. It gives more than 66 million people a choice of medical care.

In order to fulfil the changing demands of the population, the NHS constantly develops and adapts, employing a significant number of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.

Benefits of Health Insurance for International Students in the UK

UK healthcare for international students provides numerous advantages to them:

  • Medical care for international students is covered by insurance, including visits to the doctor, remaining in the hospital, and surgical procedures.
  • UK health insurance for international students will protect them from the high expense of healthcare in the UK, as the medical costs can rapidly become overwhelming without insurance, particularly for students.
  • Some international students in the UK can purchase health insurance that will cover pre-existing illnesses. Students who have diseases that require long-term treatment may greatly benefit from this.
  • For some student visas to the UK, medical coverage is a mandatory requirement. International students can prevent visa complications by making sure they meet all standards, including health insurance.
  • Mental health therapies like therapy and counselling are often covered by medical insurance. This is especially helpful for international students who may be struggling with homesickness or other emotional difficulties as a result of their time spent away from home.
  • Individuals can rest easy knowing they are covered by UK health insurance for international students. They won’t have to put their education or daily lives on hold because of the high cost of unexpected medical care.
  • Having health insurance can ensure that you have access to emergency services like ambulance rides and hospital stays in the event of a medical emergency. 

NHS Insurance for International Students

All citizens and permanent residents, including international students, have access to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. International students must have current health insurance during the time they are in the UK in order to comply with UK immigration laws.

International students have different choices for getting health insurance coverage. Obtaining private health insurance through a company based in the United Kingdom is a feasible option. UK health insurance for international students, which is private, usually covers a greater variety of medical services than the NHS, such as having access to private hospitals and specialised treatments.

International students also have the option of paying the NHS health fee when they apply for a visa. This gives you access to NHS health care without having to pay extra, except for some services like dental and eye care.

In the UK, GP surgery, also called general practice surgery, is a place where people can see a General Practitioner (GP) for basic health care. A general practitioner (GP) is a doctor who cares for patients in neighbourhoods and is often the first person people see when they need medical help or care.

UK Immigration Healthcare Surcharge

The ultimate guide to uk health insurance for international students

Online immigration applications require a healthcare surcharge. You must finish the payment and go back to the online visa application within 30 minutes. But if you want to apply for a job, you have to pay IHS online before you can finish your application. You must pay the healthcare fee with a credit or debit card.

When you apply for UK health insurance for international students online or in person, you will be asked for this information.

  • 1.   The sponsorship certificate’s start and end dates
  • 2.   The course’s schedule.

Offline applications ask prospective international students:

  • 1.   What kind of visa do you want?
  • 2.   Document travel and the number on the visa.
  • 3.   Your email address.

What is a GP Surgery in the UK?

General practitioner clinics in the UK provide a wide range of medical services to their registered patients, supporting the primary care system. Consultations, screenings, vaccines, diagnosis, and medical care of common diseases, as well as continued care of chronic conditions, are all part of the services provided.

In the UK, people who want to get UK health insurance for international students have to use GP services by signing up with a GP office first. Patients have the option of registering with a general practitioner (GP) office close to their residence or place of employment and selecting the GP they prefer to visit. Once a student has registered, they can make an appointment to visit their GP in person, over the phone, or through video chat, depending on what services are available.

How much are the fees for UK health insurance for international students?

UK health insurance for international students costs is conditional on the validity of their visa.

  • The annual fee for a student or youth mobility plan visa is £470.
  • UK health insurance costs £470 per year for those under the age of 18.
  • Students planning a 6-month or less visit to the United Kingdom will pay £235.

Ways to Apply for Student Health Insurance in the UK

After you arrive in the UK, you should select a doctor and register with him. The international student must have a letter or other official documentation from the university where he or she applied. In this document, it must be stated that the individual is eligible for coverage under the UK’s national health service.

After reviewing the application materials, the doctor’s office is responsible for emailing the student their NHS number. In this way, a student is officially registered in a UK health insurance programme.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, those planning to study in the United Kingdom should strongly consider purchasing UK health insurance for international students. So, international students should consider getting a health insurance plan that meets their needs and covers doctor visits, hospital stays, medicines, mental health support, and dental treatments.

When choosing a health insurance policy, international students should read the policy details carefully and consider coverage limits, deductibles, and limitations. International students can concentrate on their studies and fully enjoy their time in the United Kingdom if they take the time to research and acquire the appropriate health insurance policy.


How much is health insurance for international students in the UK?

Health insurance for international students studying in the UK costs £470 per year. An Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) must be paid alongside visa application fees; however, if your programme persists for under six months, you won’t have to pay the IHS. You need to pay £235.

Do international students get free healthcare in the UK?

Students can use the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) without additional fees if they pay the immigration health surcharge. Places like a GP’s office, walk-in clinic, or hospital are all in this category.

How much is UK medical insurance?

As of February 2022, a health insurance plan in the UK costs an average of £86.07 per month. But this average is based on data from people between 20 and 70. If you are younger than 50, your insurance policy will probably cost less than the average.

How much does a medical student cost in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, a medical student who studies MBBS programme takes between five and six years to complete. The annual cost of attending one of the top UK medical schools for an MBBS degree ranges from £38,000 to £50,000.

How do international students in the UK pay for health insurance?

When applying for a UK Student Visa, you must include payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge. If you apply for a visa online, you have to pay the IHS with a debit or credit card during the process.

What is covered by international students’ health insurance in the UK?

The National Health Service (NHS) gives free health care to international students who have been; living and studying in the UK for six months or more. The NHS offers a wide range of services, such as visits to the doctor, medical treatment in hospitals, and proper care in an emergency.