Detailed guide: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Iceland

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If you live in Iceland or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Iceland will stay the same for as long as you remain resident.

This guidance explains what you need to do in Iceland depending on your circumstances.

The healthcare system in Iceland is state-funded. If youre a UK national, you can apply for state health insurance as soon as youre a registered resident.

Healthcare in Iceland is not completely free. Healthcare costs are covered by the state (through the Icelandic Health Insurance fund) and through patient contributions.

Patient contributions are capped each month. Once youve spent a certain amount, your state healthcare is free for the rest of the month.

At the moment, UK nationals usually access the Icelandic healthcare system in one of these ways:

  • registering as a legal resident in Iceland and applying for state health insurance
  • using a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering a UK-issued S1 with the Icelandic health insurance system

The S1 form entitles UK nationals access to state healthcare on the same basis as an Icelandic citizen. Youre entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits. Find out more about the S1.

Healthcare if you live and work in Iceland

You must register as a resident if youre living in Iceland for more than 3 months.

The Icelandic healthcare system is state funded. If youre a UK national, you can apply for Icelandic state health insurance as soon as youre a registered resident.

You need to pay patient contributions directly towards the cost of your healthcare. The rest is paid for by the state through the Icelandic Health Insurance fund.

Theres a limit to how much you have to pay for your healthcare in Iceland. The maximum amount youll pay depends on:

  • your age
  • whether you have a disability
  • how often you need to get medicine

Dental care is not covered by Icelandic Health Insurance. Childrens dental care is free under the Icelandic Dental Association, apart from an annual appointment charge.

If you live in Iceland or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Iceland will stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as you remain resident.

This means youll:

  • continue to get state healthcare in Iceland on the same basis as a Icelandic resident
  • still be entitled to a Icelandic EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK

You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

How to register for healthcare

You first need to register as a resident in Iceland. Youll receive an ID number once youve registered.

If youre moving to Iceland from the UK, you can apply for Icelandic state healthcare insurance to start as soon as youre a registered resident.

Fill out an application for Icelandic health insurance form and send it to international@sjukra.is. Or post the form to:

Icelandic Health Insurance
International department
Vnlandslei 16
113 Reykjavik

You may need to show proof that youve paid national insurance contributions in the UK.

Once youre registered for Icelandic health insurance, you need to give your ID number each time you receive healthcare to prove that youre covered.

How much youll pay

State healthcare in Iceland is not completely free. You may have to pay some of the cost when you receive treatment.

See how much youll pay for health services each year in Iceland

The following healthcare services are free in Iceland:

  • visits to healthcare clinics if youre over 67 years old or disabled
  • inpatient hospital care and treatment
  • maternity care
  • all healthcare services for children with a GP referral

Iceland Health Insurance sets the maximum payment limits on how much youll have to pay each month on healthcare services. This amount is lower if youre a child, over 67 years old or disabled.

Once youve paid that amount, your healthcare will be free for the rest of that month.

How much youll pay for medicine depends on how much medicine you need each year. The more medicine you need, in general, the less youll pay for it. If youve spent over a certain amount, your GP can apply for you to get free medicine for the rest of the year.

Dental care is not covered by Iceland Health Insurance for most people.

Childrens dental care is free if they register with a family dentist. Theres an annual check-up charge of 2,500 Icelandic krona.

If your UK employer has sent you to Iceland temporarily (posted workers)

A posted worker is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to another European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Currently, posted workers can use an EHIC or an S1 form to access Icelandic healthcare.

HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.

There will be no changes to healthcare access for posted workers in Iceland before the end of 2020.

You can continue to use your EHIC or S1 during this time.

UK-funded healthcare: using an S1 form in Iceland

Theres different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Iceland and receive either:

  • a UK State Pension
  • some other exportable benefits

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a posted worker or frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if youre eligible.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Icelandic system.

This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Iceland on the same basis as an Icelandic citizen.

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.



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