To ease the pressure on the already strained National Health Service immigrant workers will be forced to have a level of private healthcare.
This requirement was included in the immigration cap announcement, it will be the first there will be a cap on the number of non-EU workers allowed into the UK.
Firms employing a migrant worker from outside the EU will have to pay for health cover for the duration of their contract – at a cost of hundreds of pounds.
It looks as though the burden could well be placed on the migrant’s employer, firms employing a migrant worker from outside the EU will have to pay for health insurance for the duration of that workers contract.
Following research published last year by the think tank Migrationwatch showing in 2007-2008 alone more than 600,000 migrant workers registered with a GP, ministers are concerned that immigration is placing enormous strain on not only the health service, but also on schools and housing.
When migrant health insurance is required
The announcement proposed, non-EU migrant workers would still receive accident and emergency treatment through the National Health Service but would have to pay through private insurance for other services such as GP visits and treatment of acute conditions.
As it stands migrant workers who already have work permits will be exempt until their permit runs, should they need to re-apply for a new permit they will be expected to take out comprehensive medical insurance cover.
This announcement will not affect migrants from within the EU because of the existing arrangements between EU member countries.
The cap on numbers entering the UK is still to be decided, Theresa May, Home secretary said “The ’social’ consequence of migration would be considered when the level of the cap on number is decided.”
Later this year with the help of the Migration Advisory Committee the cap will be decided, however in the meantime, an interim cap has been imposed to prevent an influx of visa applications by those trying to beat the new plans
The interim cap
The interim cap sees the total number of permits issued limited to 95% of the total issued last year, a total reduction of 1,300 permits.
Interestingly the interim cap does not include the transfer of workers into the UK by multinational companies, which last year alone allowed 30,000 migrants to relocate. The Home Office insists the decision to exclude transfer of workers within the same multinational company relates only to the interim cap, the intra-company transfers could yet be included in the final plans
Students are next
Businesses have 12 weeks to respond to a consultation on the plans. Once the cap on migrant workers is fixed Theresa May intends to focus on the number of student visas issued. Over the past year there were over 270,000 student visas issued, which as with the business migrants will have to be cut dramatically if the Conservatives are to fulfil their election promises of reducing net immigration. Needing to be cut by at least a third to meet their initial targets
Will you need health insurance?
If you are employing migrant workers and need to provide health insurance or are an individual moving to the UK and require comprehensive health insurance for your visa application then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to guide you, helping you find the most appropriate policy at the most competitive price