Private health insurance
Private insurance is an option for short term or visiting students who feel like they would like more medical support.
Do you need health insurance?
Free healthcare with the NHS
Most UK residents are entitled to access the free or affordable medical services on the NHS and therefore do not choose to buy any private health insurance at all.
As you will be living in the UK whilst you are studying, you will have access to the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) from the day that you arrive until one month after your course end date.
Students studying on a 6-month programme, who enter on a standard visitors visa, are not eligible for NHS healthcare and must ensure that they have adequate private health cover. **Please note that testing and treatment for Covid-19 is free of charge if your students have symptoms or have been asked by local council to take a test, regardless of immigration status. NHS treatment for people who are infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19) is also free of charge for everyone.**
Immigration Health Surcharge
If you are an international student with a Tier 4 visa, you will have paid an ‘immigration health surcharge’ as part of the visa application process. This payment grants you access to NHS services (in the UK) from the day that you arrive up till the end-date of your visa. This should therefore also cover Covid-19.
If you wish to stay in Scotland when your studies end
If you are a non-UK student (and have not paid an immigration health surcharge) and you wish to either stay in Scotland after your course ends or to travel outside of Scotland, it is important to check on any reciprocal health agreements in place between your home country and that which you wish to stay in.
Non-EEA students studying for less than 3 months
Non-EEA students studying on courses of less than 3 months' duration are not eligible for free NHS treatment and must take out private health insurance.
Find health insurance
Health Insurance is necessary to cover the medical costs of any private medical treatment and gives you a choice in the level of care you get and how and when it is provided.
It also can provide the following benefits:
- Access to a wider choice of treatments
- Shorter waiting times for specialist treatments
- Better hospital accommodation (private rooms)
The National Union of Students (NUS) recommends Endsleigh, which has specific insurance for international students in the UK, with protection against medical and course fees if you fall ill and have to cut short your course.
For other health insurance options, you can use any comparison website to find the deal that is best for you.
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