Charging migrants to access NHS healthcare - implementation plan published 

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16 / 7 / 2014 Midnight

The Visitor and Migrant NHS Cost Recovery Programme Implementation Plan 2014 - 16 outlines the Department of Health's approach to ensuring that the NHS receives a contribution for the cost of healthcare it provides to non-UK residents. 

Published this week, it describes the four phases of implementation which will be rolled out over the next two years:

Phase 1 - Improving the existing system of identifying and charging patients in secondary care - making it easier for NHS frontline staff to integrate this as part of their day job. 

Phase 2 - Aiding better identification of chargeable patients - help staff identify who is chargeable through better use of information. 

Phase 3 - Implementing the health surcharge - paid upfront for the duration of the individuals visa. 

Phase 4 - Extending charging outside NHS hospitals - considering extending charging policy to some primary care and A&E services. 

What this means for employers

Employers may want to give more attention at senior level (including Board) to overseas cost recovery processes as the implementation programme rolls out.

In 2014/15 there will be:

  • clarity on current charging rules and training for administrative and clinical staff
  • changes to aid identification and recording of potentially chargeable patients in your trust
  • a new process being set up to apply a health surcharge at the point of visa application for non-EEA temporary migrants.

For employers of migrant workers

From early 2015/16 temporary migrants from a non-EEA country (staying for more than six months) will be liable to pay the new health surcharge. The surcharge is expected to be £150 per year for students and £200 per year for others, and will be paid upfront for the duration of the visa.

Further information

Download a copy of the Implementation Plan  which includes a project plan timeline for 2014/15 and 2015/16. It also includes helpful scenario's to illustrate how it is anticipated the system will work in practice. 

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