It may seem unnecessary to take out international health insurance for the UK. The country does not present the same health or safety risks as other destinations.
But the reality is that in the United Kingdom, private health insurance is a must. The use of private medical clinics is almost unavoidable. And it involves high costs.
Here, you can read more about the reasons that make advisable to get an overseas medical insurance in the UK, and which options are the best.
Why Take Out an Overseas Medical Insurance in the UK?
Health is Expensive in the United Kingdom
The English public health system (NHS) is open to expats. And it is possible to benefit from the same rights as the insured by using the European Health Insurance Card.
The NHS covers certain services such as consultations and hospitalizations.
But it has its limits: poor reimbursement of dental and optical care, as well as medication, long delays in treatment due to a lack of resources, lack of specialists in the network, poor emergency services, etc.
However, the costs of care and consultations are higher than in other countries (a consultation can cost several hundred pounds).
This is why it is recommended to get your own private international health insurance for the UK, to be properly and quickly treated.
Local or International Health Insurance for the UK?
It is therefore essential to take out private insurance to benefit from good insurance in the United Kingdom. Basic medical expenses and hospitalization are the minimum coverage.
The proposed contracts generally offer additional guarantees, such as legal assistance or civil liability.
They also allow you to benefit from advantages such as the waiver of advance payment in case of hospitalization if you go to a partner establishment.
It is possible to take out a local contract for your insurance in England. But it is recommended to turn to an international insurance company from your own country.
Often, they offer benefits such as the choice of currency (pound, euro, dollar, or even your local one), and simplified management of the contract in your language.
Above all, these contracts follow the insured everywhere he/she travels outside of the UK (vacations abroad, business trips), including your home country.
Local insurance does not offer this important guarantee when you are no longer covered by Social Security.
International Health Insurance in the UK through Social Security
Social Security and its Limits
Depending on your home country, you might be covered by Social Security when you move abroad. In some countries, it is a valid expat health insurance for the UK. But in others, like the United States, it’s not available.
It’s advisable that you check your local regulations before deciding to rely on Social Security.
The fees are calculated according to the family situation and the age of the insured. This makes it interesting for young single people and for people with medical pre-existing conditions. Because there is no medical questionnaire.
However, the Social Security offer is limited. The contract only offers basic coverage, and reimbursements are calculated by taking the costs in your country as a reference.
And these amounts are often insufficient in the United Kingdom, considering the cost of consultations and private care.
Supplementary Overseas Medical Insurance for the UK: Better Reimbursements and Extended Coverage
In order to be properly covered by your insurance here, you need to subscribe to a complementary policy managed by a private company.
Depending on the contract chosen, additional guarantees will be covered and reimbursements will be more interesting.
But this second contract increases the overall cost of international insurance in the UK. And it may get even higher because of the medical questionnaire requested by the third company.
To avoid complicating the management of your insurance in England, it is possible to choose a “pack”.
The contract will be subscribed with another insurer, but its management is taken care of by Social Security, which avoids multiplying the steps and the contacts.
United Kingdom Private Health Insurance: Policies from the 1st Dollar
A Good Value for Money Expat Health Insurance in the UK
The most recommended insurance solution in the United Kingdom is the so-called 1st euro (or 1st pound) contracts.
The medical questionnaire is compulsory at the time of enrollment and may lead to exclusions of cover or increases in premiums.
But these solutions offer excellent value for money because the costs are covered from the first pound spent, at the real level of health costs in the country.
Many private companies offer this type of overseas medical insurance for the UK, so it is possible to compete for the best coverage at the best price.
Flexible and Simplified Insurance
The 1st euro contracts are also attractive because of their flexibility and simplicity of management.
Numerous packages and formulas exist on the market. It is possible to subscribe to a more or less protective international health insurance for the UK.
You can add/delete guarantees according to your needs or the duration of the stay. This also allows you to modulate the rate of your contribution.