We take the hassle out of health insurance: these three health insurance companies provide international medical and dental insurance for expats in the UK. Get quick simple quotes, and check out our list of FAQs to select the best health coverage plan for you.

Aetna International has been at the forefront of healthcare insurance for more than 160 years. With quality coverage in the United Kingdom and other countries, the American insurer caters to global professionals and offers access to over 1.4 million medical providers worldwide, 24/7 member support, and excellent benefits.

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The American health services company serves expats and globally mobile individuals in more than 200 international jurisdictions. Cigna Global’s policies are easily customised to coverage and cost requirements and customers can pick from three coverage levels, modular plans and several cost-share options.

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The Munich-headquartered financial services company offers international health insurance plans for expatriate students, couples, professionals, and families living in the UK. Depending on the policy, Allianz Care covers everyday medical expenses, emergency treatment, dental, maternity, surgery, and outpatient fees.

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Healthcare in the United Kingdom
What do I need to receive healthcare in the United Kingdom?

The UK has a tax-funded National Health Service (NHS) that is available to all residents and covers doctor and hospital visits, maternity care plus a range of other healthcare treatment either free or at a subsidized rate. Non-EU/EEA visitors can access NHS services by paying an immigration health surcharge (currently at least £150 for a 6-month stay). There are also private health services that can be covered through private insurance.

Read more in our Guide to the UK healthcare system
Do I need private health insurance in the United Kingdom?

Private health insurance is needed if you want to access private health services in the UK. Although much is available on the NHS, private services offer shorter waiting times, quicker treatment and better facilities. Private insurance can also cover you for treatments not available on the NHS, e.g. some dental, eye care and mental health treatment plus alternative therapies that are hard to access through the public system.

Read more in our Guide to health insurance in the UK
FAQ: Health insurance in the United Kingdom

If you decide to purchase private health insurance in the UK, it’s advisable to research the many companies providing insurance plans so that you can find the one that is most suited to your individual needs. Questions you might want to ask include:

1. Does the package cover family members?

If you require private coverage for children or other family members, you’ll have to pay extra so shop around to find the best group offers.

2. Are there any restrictions, limitations or exclusions on the policy, e.g. relating to age or pre-existing conditions?

Private health insurance premiums are usually calculated based on age, lifestyle, medical history and pre-existing health conditions. Some companies may exclude certain conditions or only include them at high premium rates.

3. What’s a coverage gap and could I be affected?

Non-EU/EEA nationals not entitled to free public healthcare should be able to access NHS services immediately after paying the health surcharge, so coverage gaps are not usually a problem with the public system. With private healthcare, it’s advisable to purchase your insurance policy before you travel to avoid any gaps in coverage.

4. Am I covered while I travel?

If you are a frequent traveler, an international expat health insurance package is worth looking at as it can offer global coverage. This may be useful post-Brexit as UK citizens are likely to lose their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitlements so will only be covered for health treatment in countries with whom the UK has a mutual health agreement.

5. What treatments are covered?

You can extend your coverage with most private insurers to include whatever you want or need, including treatments not available through the NHS, but prices vary. Many standard private packages don’t offer dental insurance so you might need to purchase this separately.

6. How straightforward is the process for making a claim?

Whereas NHS treatment is mostly free at the point of use, private treatment may involve paying your medical provider upfront and then filing a reimbursement claim. Check with companies what the process is and, if you have to pay upfront, how you get the money back and how long it will take.