Recently, the UK government announced to the general public the proposal of an increase in the amount paid for the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The Immigration Health Surcharge, IHS for short, was launched in 2015. It grants immigrants in the UK access to the National Health Service. This scheme, however, is for immigrants who are holders of any of the work, family, or study visas and have lived there for more than six months.
In other words, the IHS is for the thousands of people in the UK, who are from non-EU member states but are currently studying, living or working in the UK.
John Dunn of Sable International observed that since the introduction of the IHS, this is the first time its price has changed. Non-EU citizens are going to pay a double of the current price, from £200 to £400 every year.
There will be a discount of £300 for all holders of the Tier 5 visa and students as well. This increase will become effective from December this year.
Who does this affect?
According to Dunn, everyone who intends to live in the UK for more than 6 months and who are not citizens of the European Economic Area is to pay this fee.
It doesn’t matter if you have a private arrangement for your medical assistance.
Those who have obtained indefinite leave to stay in the UK will no longer be required to pay the IHS.
Why the increase?
Dunn remarked that British taxpayers finance the health care system in the UK, the fact that non-EU immigrants in the UK pay an access fee notwithstanding.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, every year, the National Health Service spends an average of £470 in treating non-EU immigrants in the country.
Therefore, by increasing the price, the government hopes to reflect more effectively, the actual cost of treatment for those who pay the IHS.
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