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Guidance: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Iceland

Department Of Health

October 22
17:10 2021

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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Iceland.

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This information is about living in Iceland. Theres different guidance if youre visiting Iceland.

State 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.

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

  • registering a UK-issued S1 form with the state insurance fund (see UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Iceland below)
  • taking out private health insurance for the first 6 months of living in Iceland
  • registering as a legal resident in Iceland then joining the state social insurance system

Healthcare if you live and work in Iceland

If you are planning on moving to Iceland, see the guidance on Living in Iceland for more information about visa and residency requirements.

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

You need private health insurance when you move to Iceland for the first 6 months.

The Icelandic healthcare system is state funded. After youve been legally resident for 6 months, you automatically become a member of the Icelandic social insurance system.

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 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

Once youre a resident you may also be entitled to an Icelandic European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for travel.

If you started living in Iceland before 1 January 2021

If you started living in Iceland before 1 January 2021 and are registered with Registers Iceland, your rights to access healthcare in Iceland will stay the same for as long as you remain resident.

This means you may also be entitled to:

  • an Icelandic EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK
  • a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension (see UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Iceland below).

How to register for healthcare

If youre moving to Iceland from the UK, youll automatically become a member of the Icelandic social insurance system after being legally resident in Iceland for 6 months.

You need to give your Kennitala 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

Patient contributions are capped each month. The amount is lower if youre a child, over 67 years old or disabled.Once youve spent that amount, your healthcare will be free for the rest of that month.

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

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 for this of 2,500 Icelandic krona per child.

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

A posted worker, also known as a detached worker, is someone employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to a European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Healthcare for posted workers who started before 1 January 2021

You can access healthcare in Iceland using a UK-issued EHIC or an S1 form.

Healthcare for posted workers moving to Iceland

You may need to cover the cost of your healthcare with private health insurance.

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.

UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Iceland

Theres different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker (see If your UK employer has sent you to Iceland temporarily (posted workers) above).

If you started living in Iceland before 1 January 2021, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if youre an Icelandic resident and receive either:

  • a UK State Pension
  • some other exportable benefits

Not all UK benefits that can be claimed while abroad entitle you to UK-funded healthcare. Read more about claiming benefits if you move abroad or contact Jobcentre Plus to ask about a benefit.

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a 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.

Youll also get:

Dependants and family members may be classified differently in Iceland than the UK.

Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.

If youre entitled to an S1 form as a dependant of a State Pensioner, your health cover will be cancelled once you begin claiming your UK State Pension.

You will be sent a new S1 form to your registered address from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. You must register this form to ensure continuation of healthcare cover.

You are responsible for informing NHS Overseas Healthcare Services if you change your address or your circumstances change.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension or another qualifying exportable benefit, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services (see contact details above).

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