While immigrant workers who come to the UK from Europe are covered for basic medical care by EU rules, others are not.
The number of workers entering the UK from outside Europe will be controlled by a new limit. Net migration will be scaled back to the levels of the 1990s – to tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work is just one of the ways the government intends to achieve this.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that as part of the plans to protect the NHS from unnecessary costs, that in the future, work visas will only be issued if the sponsoring employer conforms that for the duration of their contract, the company’s health insurance will provide cover for the immigrant worker. Immigrants with existing work permits will be exempt until the permit runs out, but the intention is that renewals will only be provided after proof of insurance.
It is not the intention that migrant workers have to buy their own health insurance, but there is nothing to stop an employer seeking a contribution to the cost from the worker.
Private medical insurance: News update: 7 July 2010