The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was brought in to ensure that temporary users of the NHS from outside the EEA are making a fair contribution to the functioning of our national asset, regardless of their employment status. From its introduction to the end of the 18/19 financial year, the Surcharge raised approximately £900 million in much needed income.
I am sure you are aware that the Prime Minister recently announced that NHS and care workers will be exempt from this fee in recognition of the huge contribution they already make to our brilliant healthcare system.
You may also wish to know those with indefinite leave to remain and vulnerable groups, including asylum seekers and refugees, are also exempt from the charge.
After a review of the evidence, the annual surcharge will now cost £624 per annum, with a discounted rate of £470pa for children in recognition of the increased financial impact on family groups. The Government believes this represents a fair deal, given the range of NHS services temporary visitors will be able to use without further charge.
The IHS still offers access to far more comprehensive services at a lower cost than some of our main competitor countries.
Although some temporary migrants will be paying tax and National Insurance contributions, they will not have made the same financial contribution to the NHS which most UK nationals and permanent residents have made, or will make, over the course of their working lives. Therefore the Government require them to make an up-front and proportionate contribution to the NHS.