Best Health insurance Plans for international Students in UK



There are different health insurance plans available for international students schooling in the UK and they include;

National Health Service (NHS)

If you are an International student in the UK, you may most likely be eligible for health insurance through the National Health Service (NHS), a publicly funded healthcare system that provides a very wide range of medical services. The NHS provides healthcare to all UK residents, including international students who are studying for more than six months. You can register with a local GP (General Practitioner) to access NHS services.

However, if you are an international student from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and studying for less than six months, you may need to pay for any medical treatment you may require during the period of your stay. If this is the case, you may want to consider purchasing private health insurance to cover any potential medical costs that may arise, to avoid running into financial debts.


International students who will be studying in the UK for longer than 6 months are required to pay a surcharge as part of their visa application process, which entitles them to use the NHS for the duration of their studies. The current surcharge rate is £470 per year, and it can be paid online as part of the visa application process.

Private health insurance

Many private health insurance companies also offer insurance policies specifically designed for international students. These private insurance policies can provide additional benefits such as faster access to medical treatment and cover for pre-existing conditions. Private health insurance can provide more comprehensive coverage than university-sponsored plans, but it can also be more expensive. Some of the providers that offer such policies include Bupa, AXA PPP Healthcare, and Allianz Care.

University health plans

Some universities in the UK offer their own health plans for international students. These plans can provide comprehensive coverage for medical treatment and emergency medical services, prescription medication and any other health related issues that may arise. These university health plans may offer additional coverage beyond what is provided by the NHS such as dental care, vision care or counseling services. You should check with your university or college to see if they offer such a plan and what benefits it may attract. Also note that these plans may be included as part of your tuition fees or offered as an optional add-on. It’s also a good idea to speak with your university or student union, as they may have recommendations or partnerships with specific insurance providers.



For international student who come from within the EEA or Switzerland, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is another option which you may have been able to qualify for. The European Health Insurance Card entitles you to free or reduced-cost medical treatment while studying in the UK. However, due to Brexit, the EHIC is no longer available to UK residents or visitors.

Tips on how to research and compare health insurance options in the UK

Look for insurers who specialize in health insurance for students, as they may offer tailored policies that better suit your needs and budget as a student with limited amount of funds.

Always thoroughly check the benefits and coverage of each policy, and make sure they match your specific needs. For example, some policies may include coverage for mental health or pre-existing conditions, while others may not.

Compare the premiums of different policies, as well as any deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses you may need to pay.

Check online websites for the ratings and reviews from previous or current users of the insurance companies you are considering, to see how well they have treated their policyholders in the past.

Consider the provider’s network of healthcare professionals and hospitals, to ensure you have access to quality care in your area. This would save you the time and inconvenience of traveling long distances to meet your healthcare provider.

Top 10 health insurance providers for UK students

Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd

AXA Health

Bupa Global

Allianz Care

Aviva Health Insurance


WPA Healthcare

Freedom Health Insurance

Cigna Global

Aetna International

It is very important to take note that the availability and coverage of these providers may vary depending on your individual circumstances, such as your age, health status, and specific needs. It’s a good idea to research and compare different options to find the policy that best meets your needs and budget. When selecting a health insurance plan, it is important to consider factors such as coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions. Be sure to read the policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not.

Duration of health insurance for foreign students in the UK

The duration of health insurance for foreign students would typically vary depending on a number of factors such as their individual circumstances, the specific insurance policy purchased and the length of your studies. The length of time covered by a the health insurance policy will typically correspond to the length of the student’s visa, as the visa will have an expiration date that limits the student’s stay in the UK.

A foreign student, who is enrolled in a course of six months or less, may be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) during their stay in the UK, without needing to pay for additional health insurance. For foreign students studying a course longer than six months, they will need to pay for health insurance for the entire duration of their stay. If you are a non-EU international student studying in the UK for more than six months, you will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application process.

It is important to note that the exact requirements for health insurance can vary depending on the student’s home country and the requirements of their specific visa. It’s recommended that students check with their university or with the UK government’s visa information website for the most up-to-date information on health insurance requirements for foreign students in the UK.


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