UK: Forthcoming law to exclude foreign nationals from National Health Service coverage

United Kingdom

Foreign nationals will soon be more likely to be charged for most medical treatment received in the United Kingdom, according to a forthcoming law that is yet to be published.  Foreign nationals who have already paid the Immigration Health Surcharge will likely be exempt from the provisions of the new law, however this is subject to change. Foreign nationals who are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge will likely continue to be exempt from these new provisions. Those likely to be most impacted are short-term visitors to the UK.

The bill will also likely introduce new residency rules that would restrict free medical services under the National Health Service for European Economic Area visitors, who are currently exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.


The bill is meant to recover costs incurred from medical treatment for foreign nationals.

The bill will likely contain an extensive list of exemptions such as treatment for contagious illnesses or for victims of certain types of violence, among others.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Affected foreign nationals should be prepared to consider health care costs during their trips to the United Kingdom once the bill is implemented.