Author Topic: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?  (Read 41514 times)

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Offline BHartman

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Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« on: October 13, 2004, 10:28:45 AM »
From the NHS website:

Are you taking up or resuming permanent residence in the UK?
What if I should need hospital treatment?
Under the current Regulations, anyone who is taking up or resuming permanent residence in the UK is entitled to free National Health Service (NHS) hospital treatment in England. If your intention is to live permanently in the UK you will be exempt from hospital charges from the date of your arrival in the country but you should expect to be asked to prove your intention and that you are legally entitled to live here. This exemption applies to your spouse and children (under the age of 16, or 19 if in further education) if they are living here with you on a permanent basis.

If you do not have an automatic right to take up permanent residence but have applied to the Home Office for leave to enter/remain on a settled basis, you will be chargeable for any hospital treatment up to the point your application is granted.

Once you are living here permanently you will become ordinarily resident and the Regulations will cease to apply to you. Your spouse and child will also be considered ordinarily resident if they are living permanently in the UK with you. If they are not living permanently in the UK then the Regulations will apply and in order to be entitled to free hospital treatment they will have to meet one of the categories of exemption in their own right.

In common with those ordinarily resident in the UK, anyone who meets the criteria of ordinary residence or is exempt from charges for hospital treatment will have to pay statutory NHS charges, eg prescription charges, unless they also qualify for exemption from these, and will have to go on to waiting lists for treatment where appropriate.

If I should need hospital treatment what documents will I need?
The Regulations place a responsibility on individual hospitals to determine whether, in accordance with the Regulations, a patient is liable to be charged for treatment or not. In order to establish entitlement, hospitals can ask you to provide documentation that supports your claim that you intend to live permanently in the UK. It is for you to decide what to supply, however examples of evidence could include:

documentation to prove you are entitled to live in the UK such as British Passport, permission from the Home Office;
documentation that proves your intention is to reside here permanently such as sale of goods/property overseas, receipts showing shipping of goods, looking for work, application for benefits, children are attending school.
Am I entitled to access primary care services?
Any person living here lawfully and on a settled basis is regarded as resident in the UK and therefore entitled to free primary medical services. On taking up residence in the UK it is advisable to approach a GP practice and apply to register on to its list of NHS patients. The practice may choose to accept or decline your application. An application may be refused if the practice has reasonable grounds for doing so, such as if you are living outside their practice area. A practice would not be able to refuse your application on the grounds of race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition.

Further information on registering with a primary care practice.
Do I have to pay for emergency treatment if I have an accident?
Regardless of residential status or nationality, emergency treatment given at Primary Care Practices (a GP) or in Accident and Emergency departments or a Walk-in Centre providing services similar to those of a hospital Accident and Emergency department is free of charge.

In the case of treatment given in an Accident and Emergency department or Walk-in Centre the exemption from charges will cease to apply once the patient is formally admitted as an in-patient (this will include emergency operations and admittance to High Dependency Units) or registered at an outpatient clinic.

Am I entitled to help with the costs of non-emergency NHS treatment?
Information about help with health costs is detailed in

leaflet HC11 'Are you entitled to help with health costs?'
What are the other exemptions from charge for NHS hospital treatment?
Full list of exemptions from charges

What if I do not meet one of these exemptions from charges?
If you are not ordinarily resident or exempt under the regulations, charges will apply for any hospital treatment you receive and cannot be waived. If this is the case you are strongly advised to take out private healthcare insurance that would cover you for the length of time you are in the UK. There is no facility to purchase healthcare insurance from the NHS therefore any necessary insurance must be organised privately.


Please note the above information gives general guidance only and should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of law. In all cases the Regulations place the responsibility of deciding who is entitled to receive free hospital treatment with the hospital providing treatment. 

Offline ratpack

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 08:34:00 PM »
My husband has just arrived in the UK from the States on a spousal visa. He had a very serious head injury last summer for which he still has some treatment (medications) With this in mind i thought it most sensible to get him registered with our family doctor straight away....just in case. We went there with his passport/visa and was told that he couldn't receive FREE treatment on the NHS until he had a NI number and could show that he was working and had paid NI contributions. When i pointed out to them that he had only just arrived and had to find a job first, THEN he could apply for his NI number and that this could take a while (even getting an appointment for the NI number, let alone finding a job) we were told that he would have to pay for his appointments with any doctor and would also have to pay for private perscriptions for any of his medication. I pushed the matter a little further and was told that these are the new rules.....i wasn't very convinced.

Does anyone know what he is really entitled to..?

I have been looking around on line but cant seem to find the relevant info.
Any help here would be gratefully appreciated. I am just a bit worried as i am on benefits myself and cant pay for these things.
Thanks for any help
Stay safe
Jules
Look but don't touch! Touch but don't tase! Taste but don't swallow! And while you're hopping about from one foot to the other, he's up there laughing his sick f#@king a$$ off - Al Pacino

Offline Shahbanou

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 08:41:20 PM »
He is entitled to NHS treatment without having to pay anything.  What you have been told is a load of rubbish, perhaps your GP isn't used to dealing with peope on spouse visas. I think they are getting the NI number mixed up with the NHS number.  They should give him a form to fill in which gets sent to the local health authority who will send him a card with an NHS number on it.  Try phoning your local health authority if in doubt.

Found this on the Dept of Health website, knew I'd seen it somewhere! -

http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/International/OverseasVisitors/OverseasVisitorsGeneralArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4080713&chk=S9o%2BY9

Are you coming to the United Kingdom to marry a person living in the UK?

Rules, procedures and documentation on access to hospital and primary health care, NHS charges and exemptions.

What if I should need hospital treatment?

Under the current Regulations anyone who comes to the UK to take up permanent residence is fully exempt from charges for National Health Service (NHS) hospital treatment in England. A person who has been given leave to enter the UK by the Home Office to marry someone who is ordinarily resident here may be regarded as taking up permanent residence, and therefore exempt from charges for NHS hospital treatment. This exemption would extend to your children (under the age of 16, or 19 if in further education) if they come to live here with you on a permanent basis.

Once you are living here permanently and have married you will become ordinarily resident in your own right and the Regulations will cease to apply to you. So will your children if they are living with you permanently.

However, in common with those ordinarily resident in the UK, anyone who meets the criteria of ordinary residence or is exempt from charges will have to pay statutory NHS charges, eg prescription charges, unless they also qualify for exemption from these, and will have to go on to waiting lists for treatment where appropriate.

If I should need hospital treatment what documents will I need?

The Regulations place a responsibility on individual hospitals to determine whether, in accordance with the Regulations, a patient is liable to be charged for treatment or not. In order to establish entitlement, hospitals can ask you to provide documentation that supports your claim that you have come to the UK to marry a person living here. It is for you to decide what to supply, however examples of evidence could include:

    * documentation from the Home Office to prove you are entitled to come to the UK to marry.

Am I entitled to access primary care services?

Any person living here lawfully and on a settled basis is regarded as resident in the UK and therefore entitled to free primary medical services. On taking up residence in the UK it is advisable to approach a GP practice and apply to register on to its list of NHS patients. The practice may choose to accept or decline your application. An application may be refused if the practice has reasonable grounds for doing so, such as if you are living outside their practice area. A practice would not be able to refuse your application on the grounds of race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition.


Do I have to pay for emergency treatment if I have an accident?

Regardless of residential status or nationality, emergency treatment given at Primary Care Practices (a GP) or in Accident and Emergency departments or a Walk-in Centre providing services similar to those of a hospital Accident and Emergency department is free of charge.

In the case of treatment given in an Accident and Emergency department or Walk-in Centre the exemption from charges will cease to apply once the patient is formally admitted as an in-patient (this will include emergency operations and admittance to High Dependency Units) or registered at an outpatient clinic.

Am I entitled to help with the costs of non-emergency NHS treatment?

Information about help with health costs is detailed in leaflet HC11 ' Are you entitled to help with health costs?'

What are the other exemptions from charge for NHS hospital treatment?

See the page 'Full list of exemptions from charges'.

What if I do not meet one of these exemptions from charges?

If you are not ordinarily resident or exempt under the regulations, charges will apply for any hospital treatment you receive and cannot be waived. If this is the case you are strongly advised to take out private healthcare insurance that would cover you for the length of time you are in the UK. There is no facility to purchase healthcare insurance from the NHS therefore any necessary insurance must be organised privately.

Please note the above information gives general guidance only and should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of law. In all cases the Regulations place the responsibility of deciding who is entitled to receive free hospital treatment with the hospital providing treatment.
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« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 09:05:39 PM by Britwife »

Offline sweetpeach

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2005, 11:14:57 AM »
After I arrived here on my fiance visa, I received an unexpected letter from a health visitor saying that I had to register with a GP.  When I phoned her, I was told that now, when you arrive at the airport on a settlement visa, immigration gives your details to NHS. NHS now requires that everyone who settles in the UK be registered.  So I am registered at a surgery, I do not have an NIN, and I do not pay any taxes because I'm not allowed to work here (yet).  Based on my conversation with the health visitor, the NHS seems to be very concerned with people bringing communicable diseases into the UK.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2005, 11:16:44 AM by sweetpeach »

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2005, 06:01:19 AM »
Tne NHS is very efficient where I live. I recently had blood tests done and got a call from the local practice to come in the NEXT DAY because my GP wanted to get me on thyroid meds ASAP. I used to avoid going to the doctor as if it were the plague, because the first GP I had was very condescending, knew nothing about the joint disease I have, didn't care to know, etc. Another GP in the same practice asked to take me on as a patient, and we have a great sarcastic rapport. At first meeting, he asked if I was Canadian or American: When I answered the latter, he said, "Well, we can't all be perfect." But, UNLIKE other doctors I've dealt with here, he meant that to be funny. So we have a very open line of communication, regularly swapping insults about each other's country, but it's honestly in fun. On the other hand, I'd never have a child here, based on all the horror stories I've read....

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2005, 06:04:50 AM »
P.S. Not that meds are expensive here, anyway (compared with the States). But I thought Americans and Brits alike should know that, for some reason, if you're diagnosed with a thyroid disease, diabetes, or epilepsy here, all your meds, for whatever the problem, are free. That blew my mind. I have an uninsured epileptic brother in the States who puts out over $500 a month for meds, just so he can function.

expat_in_scotland

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2005, 10:42:41 PM »
Another P.S.

The NHS is not FREE.  It is funded by taxpayers. 

Offline Shahbanou

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2005, 07:06:39 AM »
National Insurance payers you mean  ;D  It is free in the sense that you aren't presented with a bill to pay.

expat_in_scotland

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2005, 08:01:18 AM »
National Insurance payers you mean  ;D  It is free in the sense that you aren't presented with a bill to pay.

Yeah.  It certainly adds up to a healthy chunk.  You don't get a bill, but as they say in economics, 'There's no such thing as a free lunch,' folks.

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2005, 05:39:28 AM »
By no means was I implying that health care here is a free lunch...

Offline Jmaster911

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2005, 09:31:15 PM »
On the other hand, I'd never have a child here, based on all the horror stories I've read....

The statistics however tell a different story


USA Infant mortality rate: 6.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

UK Infant mortality rate: 5.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Info taken from http://geography.about.com/mbody.htm

Steve

Offline pittpanther36

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2005, 09:50:52 PM »
I'd rather have kids in the UK due to the cost alone of all the visits and possible complications. Less obstetricians in the states are practicing b/c of the high cost of insurance. We're losing great doctors b/c we sue them so much!
Sometimes I feel like an alien in my own country

expat_in_scotland

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2005, 09:53:14 PM »
I've never given birth in the US, but on the whole care there seemed more medicalised.  I see pregnancy and giving birth as a bodily function, not an illness, so I'm grateful things aren't so fussy here.

Offline PhoenixMoon

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2005, 02:34:25 PM »
yeah i have to get some more brith control as my mom cannot send me mine like she thought she could. i just started on the patch.  i have to go to the doctor sometime in the next week or so and see what i can do.i am nervous what do i bring so i can get the birth control without having to pay an arm and a leg for it? i love this thing :)
  shala
ps i am here and safe and happy with patch :)
Married to the most wonderful man in the world. Patrick Mulcrone. March 21,2005.  :) Temporarily back in the USA! Missing him! If you need advice I am here for you!

Offline Shahbanou

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2005, 02:38:17 PM »
You don't have to do anything special Shala. Just go & register at your local GP surgery and then go along to their family planning clinic.  Take your passport & visa along when you go & register in case they want to see it but you shouldn't have any problems.