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Leaving UK and NHS

Leaving UK and NHS

Old Apr 27th 2018, 11:59 am
  #1  
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Default Leaving UK and NHS

Just wondered if anyone can clarify something for me. It is stated on NHS website that if you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you are no longer eligible for NHS, however it is unclear re moving abroad on a temporary work visa.
Technically, my family is moving on 12 month L1 and L2 visas, would it be possible to come back and make use of NHS during this time? reason I am asking is my son needs a followup surgery in the next 6-12 months and although I am exploring American health insurance options also, I wanted to check if he could still be eligible to come back to England for it (and have dental check up at same time), especially as still paying NI contributions

Thanks so much
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
Just wondered if anyone can clarify something for me. It is stated on NHS website that if you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you are no longer eligible for NHS, however it is unclear re moving abroad on a temporary work visa.
Technically, my family is moving on 12 month L1 and L2 visas, would it be possible to come back and make use of NHS during this time? reason I am asking is my son needs a followup surgery in the next 6-12 months and although I am exploring American health insurance options also, I wanted to check if he could still be eligible to come back to England for it (and have dental check up at same time), especially as still paying NI contributions

Thanks so much
You will be US residents...not UK residents...so no you are not eligible to use the NHS.

NI contributions cover social services, pensions etc...not the NHS.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

I hope you have negotiated your healthcare needs as part of your relocation package.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

I wanted to check if he could still be eligible to come back to England for it (and have dental check up at same time), especially as still paying NI contributions
No he isn't. That said, it's unlikely that his residency status will be checked - but it doesn't make it right.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
No he isn't. That said, it's unlikely that his residency status will be checked - but it doesn't make it right.
thanks. not looking to do anything dodgy - just wanted to cover all bases before going down us medical insurance route.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 1:12 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
thanks. not looking to do anything dodgy - just wanted to cover all bases before going down us medical insurance route.
Much easier (ie for pre op and follow up appointments) and quicker to get surgery in the US...rather than travelling and staying in the UK. Of course the cost to you depends on your US health insurance cover.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
thanks. not looking to do anything dodgy - just wanted to cover all bases before going down us medical insurance route.
Even if you were eligible for NHS (and you are not) you would still need US coverage. Many situations could occur where you are not able to return to the UK and, in no time at all, you can run up bills of many thousands of dollars.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Even if you were eligible for NHS (and you are not) you would still need US coverage. Many situations could occur where you are not able to return to the UK and, in no time at all, you can run up bills of many thousands of dollars.
hi, yes of course. thanks
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Residency is the factor
Payment or non-payment of NI is NOT relevant. NI provides entitlement to certain befits like State Retirement Pension.

Having right of access to the NHS is NOT related to NI payments.


this is a common misconception arising from the system as it was before the NHS came into being (70 years ago !)

Here is something I took from an NHS Advice page -

"Who will not be charged for accessing the NHS?
You will not be charged for any NHS treatment if you are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, or if an exemption to charging applies.

‘Ordinarily Resident’
The full definition of ordinarily resident for the purposes of accessing NHS services can be found here and is summarized as follows:

“A person will be “ordinarily resident…” in the UK when that residence is lawful, adopted, voluntary, and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, whether of short or long duration.”

In practice, you are normally ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK if you are living and working in the UK and are:

A British citizen

Naturalised within the UK

Settled within the UK (commonly referred to as holding Indefinite Leave to Remain)"

Last edited by scot47; Apr 27th 2018 at 2:39 pm.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Residency is the factor
Payment or non-payment of NI is NOT relevant. NI provides entitlement to certain befits like State Retirement Pension.

Having right of access to the NHS is NOT related to NI payments.


this is a common misconception arising from the system as it was before the NHS came into being (70 years ago !)
aaalso because the NHS has been very reluctant to ask people if they do qualify, where they currently live, have a British accent and you got free treatment, now with current funding crisis they are having to ask the questions.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
aaalso because the NHS has been very reluctant to ask people if they do qualify, where they currently live, have a British accent and you got free treatment, now with current funding crisis they are having to ask the questions.
I’ve noticed this at the hospital I’ve been visiting as an out patient. Even though I have a thick Durham accent and have lived back here for 2 years now I get asked each time I turn up for an appointment if I have been resident for at least 6 months. I have my next 6 month follow up appointment there in a couple of weeks so it will interesting to see if I’m asked again. I certainly couldn’t claim ignorance or that I didn’t see the residency question on a form I filled in.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
I’ve noticed this at the hospital I’ve been visiting as an out patient. Even though I have a thick Durham accent and have lived back here for 2 years now I get asked each time I turn up for an appointment if I have been resident for at least 6 months. I have my next 6 month follow up appointment there in a couple of weeks so it will interesting to see if I’m asked again. I certainly couldn’t claim ignorance or that I didn’t see the residency question on a form I filled in.
You can be habitually resident from day one though, so I wonder what they do if you answer "no" to that question?
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
You can be habitually resident from day one though, so I wonder what they do if you answer "no" to that question?
A lot of follow-up questions.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
thanks. not looking to do anything dodgy - just wanted to cover all bases before going down us medical insurance route.
Presume you have researched your US company's health insurance plan -coverage and costs.
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Old Apr 27th 2018, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Leaving UK and NHS

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
You can be habitually resident from day one though, so I wonder what they do if you answer "no" to that question?
Fortunately I didn’t need the hospital until I had been here more than 6 months otherwise I would have found out what the follow up questions would have been

When I registered at our local Doctor’s within the first week of arriving there was no question on residency even though I didn’t have an NHS number.
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