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Maintaining Health Care Coverage in the UK

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by holmes5668, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. I will be starting an overseas job in September. The policy offered by the school seems reasonable, but only applies to health care in country. I would like to find a policy that would cover me in the UK. I don't want to buy a policy when going back to the UK, but one that I can pay into monthly, so it would cover me (actually us) for any illnesses that occur during the coverage. Basically I want to permanently maintain coverage in the UK, until the NHS deems us eligible for full coverage again.
    I know the NHS covers anyone for emergency situations, but I don't want anyone in my family to get seriously ill for a prolonged period and not be able to return home because we only have coverage in the country the school is in.
    Any thoughts / suggestions welcomed.
     
  2. I will be starting an overseas job in September. The policy offered by the school seems reasonable, but only applies to health care in country. I would like to find a policy that would cover me in the UK. I don't want to buy a policy when going back to the UK, but one that I can pay into monthly, so it would cover me (actually us) for any illnesses that occur during the coverage. Basically I want to permanently maintain coverage in the UK, until the NHS deems us eligible for full coverage again.
    I know the NHS covers anyone for emergency situations, but I don't want anyone in my family to get seriously ill for a prolonged period and not be able to return home because we only have coverage in the country the school is in.
    Any thoughts / suggestions welcomed.
     
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    We were covered by BUPA International. Excellent cover/ service including USA if required. No idea of the cost as it was part of the packagee.
     
  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    That only applies to China, of course. It's 'packidge' elsewhere.
    Make sure your maintain your NI payments as this will entitle you to NHS and other benefits if/when you return to the EU.
     
  5. Far be it from me to correct you - are you sure about this ? I maintained my NI payments until I had completed the 30 years but was told that NHS entitlement was based on residency in the UK.
     
  6. Yes, I believe that is correct, which is why I am looking for insurance. It seems a lot of Brit expats think they have full coverage, but that don't. Many get away with it (due to NHS incompetence and staff who aren't financially motivated and/or have kind hearts), but if I had a critical illness I wouldn't want to worry whether I was going to end up with a huge bill at the end of a hospital stay or not.
     
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I think we may be at cross purposes. Maintaining your NI contributions (maximum 30 years)entitles you to full benefits when you return permanently to the UK (or in our case another EU country). I was not suggesting, for instance, that an expatriate could pop home for the hols and automatically receive NHS treatment.
     
  8. But you may not get full benefits from the moment you get home, there is a potential waiting period depending on where you seek treatment. I also don't think coverage is dependent on paying NI at all. It is dependent on residence and there is a potential 12 month waiting period after you return home. Now, if I had a critical illness I would not want to, or perhaps couldn't , wait that long. That is the period I would like to cover. It is a grey area that I would like to make black and white.
     
  9. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    It took my sons about three months to register with their UK GP. The main delay in the case of the younger one was obtaining a NI number as he had spent most of his life abroad.
    I was advised in writing by (DHSS or whatever they are called now) that certain benefits, e.g. maternity, depended on the NI record. Monthly NI contributions (about ten quid a month when I was paying them) are peanuts. Among other things they entitle you to your State Pension. I know the cynics pooh pooh this on the grounds that you'll all have to work until you're as old as Methuselah but as statistically an increasing number of you are going to live almost as long as the old boy it is well worth keeping up the payments.
    I don't claim to be an expert on the UK Social Security system and I would always advise people to go to the relevant horse's mouth.
     
  10. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

  11. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    This expat thought the same thing, until two minutes ago.

    So, let me get this right. For 20 odd years I paid substantial taxes in the UK, and am now not entitled to health care when I'm back in the country. Yet somebody who has been on the dole all their life, and never contributed a penny (in fact, only taken from the country) gets the full works. Does that seem fair and morally right?

    In contrast, if I returned to New Zealand I think I would be looked after immediately.
     
  12. Well David, I'm trying for a practical angle, not a bitter and twisted one, but yes, that is right. I don't know about New Zealand, but here in Canada there is a three month waiting period after you return to the country before government health care kicks in. I'm fine with that as the rules are clear and policies are available to cover that period. In the UK it seems the rules are less clear and si it is quite diffcult to know what coverage is needed.
    You may want to do a bit of research on your coverage in NZ.
     
  13. There is also a difference in potential coverage depending upon whether you are living in an EU country or not. Again, information seems to be sketchy.
     
  14. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Upon return to UK you are not covered for health care for 6 months eg an emergency op is free but all drugs are paid for by you in cash. I know as my doctor tried charging me 105 pounds when I returned to UK from Thailand (I had appendicitis) luckily the gp fiddled it so I was in UK on their system. The advice I was given was

    1. Claim you had been living rough 2. Go to Poland buy a polish passport and then come to UK as poles get free healthcare from day one. Also you could go to Nigeria, buy a Nigerian passport for 80 pounds (real one - was on bbc1 the other day how easy that is) and then claim to be a refugee. With that you get free health care and a free stay in a hotel. So I no speaky Anglais!
     
  15. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    We returned to Spain in 2006 having lived and worked there more than six years previously (i.e. we were already part of the Social Security system). It was a matter of only a few days to get ourselves registered with the Town Hall and obtain our Tarjetas Sanitarias entitling us to treatment under the Spanish NHS.
    Obtaining the EHIC the international health card entitling us to treatment on visits to the UK is vastly more complicated because it is processed in the UK. One applies (several emails, fobbings off, international phone calls, etc etc) for a form. This is not an application form for the EHIC. It is an application form for an application form for an application form- Once apform A has has been accepted by the <strike>banana republic</strike> UK they send you apform B which you have to register with the Spanish authorities. If all goes well you eventually get apform C. (We are still waiting after five months). Apparently the problem is that we are already in the Spanish system so the Spaniards are puzzled by our attempts to register with them. So are the Brits. When I told the official lady that we already had Spanish health cards the reaction was 'Well, you shouldn't have.'
     
  16. That's what I find concerning, the arse end doesn't seem to know what the front end is doing. It likes tossing a coin, heads it's free, tails you give us ten grand.
     

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