Doctors in England, Wales and Scotland normally accept all students onto their lists of NHS patients. Hospitals offer some level of care to all visitors and residents of the UK. However, not all hospital treatment is automatically covered so the information below will help you decide whether to take individual medical insurance.
Download the free Student Health App for reliable and useful health information for students.
Student or Tier 4 visa
If you made paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application, you are eligilbe to use hospitals and see a General Practicioner free of charge. This is the same if you applied before 6 April 2015 and you didn't need to pay the IHS because it didn't exist.
If you made your visa application after 6 April 2015 but you did not need to pay IHS, for example, if you applied from outside the UK and your course was for less than 6 months, you are not covered for all hospital cover and you should arrange individual medical insurance.
EU and EEA students
If you have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme and have confirmation of settled or pre-settled status, you will be entitled to use the UK National Healthcare Service (NHS) for free. If you are still awaiting confirmation of your status, you can access the NHS for free as long as you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you do not have an EHIC ‘it is important that until an application under the EU Settlement Scheme is decided, you have comprehensive sickness insurance while you are in the UK as a student.’ (UKCISA).
If you can't get an EHIC card and haven't been granted settled or pre-settled status, you should arrange medical insurance. Please contact us if you would like individual advice about your situation.This is also true for EU students arriving in the UK on a visitor visa. EU students who have paid Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of the Student Route visa will be covered by this (see section above). EU student may be eligible for a IHS refund from 1 January 2022.
Visitor visa or short-term
Students on a visitor visa or short-term Student visa for 6 months or less do not normally pay the IHS and are therefore not eligible to use all parts of hospital care. We strongly recommend that you take out individual medical insurance unless you are an EU student who has an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC allows you to access the UK National Healthcare Service (NHS) for free.
If you paid Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your short term student visa you are able to use the NHS without charge. This is normally the case if you are on an 11 month visa.
Medical and other insurance
If you decide to purchase medical insurance, UKCISA has information about how to do this.
In the UK, it is usual to pay for insurance to protect against any loss or injury to yourself or your belongings. Policies usually cover you for part or all of the replacement value of what you have lost. You can also use an insurance company in your own country or check Endsleigh, a company which insures students. If you have valuable items, e.g. jewellery and electrical items, make sure the policy covers their value. If you are living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence, we will insure some of the contents of your room.
You can insure your luggage for the time you are travelling by buying travel insurance. Keep copies of your insurance policies, passport and visa.