Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – Residency and Visas

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance is the Home Office term used for Private Medical Insurance (PMI). If you are a non-UK citizen, it protects you should you fall sick, and satisfies the Home Office requirements in relation to residency for EU nationals.

Halo Consulting is a Midlands based Insurance Broker working with both national and international clients to provide both individual and company insurance. We deal with many of the major insurers within the UK such as AXA, Aviva, Vitality and Bupa to provide no-obligation quotes and to find you, our clients, the best cover at the lowest possible cost.

Get To Know Our PMI Providers!…

By reviewing quotes from a variety of insurers, we can provide you with the most cost-effective policy to satisfy your needs.


Why Would I Need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance?…

  • You’re an EU citizen living in the UK, are classed by the Home Office as self-sufficient and looking for UK residency.
  • You’re married to a UK citizen and you need to protect your right to stay in the UK.
  • You’re an international student who has a place at a UK university.

The Home Office may refuse your right to stay in the UK without Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, even if you are an EU citizen – don’t take the risk.

What if I have a European Health Card (EHIC)?…

A European Health Card (EHIC) is only allowed if you don’t plan to stay in the UK permanently – you will need to declare this.

  • Are you sure your country of birth has the right agreement in place with the UK?
  • Wouldn’t you prefer the option to stay in the UK should a good opportunity arise?
  • Would you like security knowing that if you fall sick, you can access medical treatment without any problems?

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance can be a very complex area to understand. Halo Consulting will help you find the best options for your personal and professional situation. With our caring and supportive approach, we’ll bring clarity to the small-print so you can get on with your life.

For more details on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, please call us on 0116 366 6866 or email:

Here‘s Some FAQ’s!…

What does Comprehensive Sickness Insurance mean?

This is a generic term used by the Home Office to denote types of private medical insurance that meets the Visa requirements for becoming a UK resident.

What hospitals can I use – are there any restrictions?

You can use any hospital unrestricted (see your policy terms and conditions). Please note that although EU nationals currently have a right to access the NHS, in order to satisfy the Visa criteria, this is not considered to be sufficient alone.

What are the types of benefit included in Comprehensive Sickness Insurance?

The more benefits you have, the higher the premium will be. According to the Home Office, guidance notes state that the policy should “cover you (and your family members, if applicable) for the “majority of risks whilst you are in the UK”. Additional benefits such as dental, optical, psychiatric treatment or alternative therapies can also be included.

Do I have to be UK-based to be able to use Comprehensive Sickness Insurance?

As part of the Visa requirements, this is essential if you are seeking UK citizenship.

How much can I reduce the policy premiums and still fulfil Home Office conditions?

If you include an excess and limit out-patient cover, you could reduce policy premiums. We would suggest covering £1,000 of out-patient cover as a minimum, and an excess maximum of £250 per year – although, the Home Office gives no specific figures on this.

What does Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover?

You will be covered for any acute conditions eligible for private treatment. You will not be covered for pre-existing medical conditions or any emergency treatment.

What happens if I need emergency treatment?

Emergency treatment is only available via the NHS.

What if I have pre-existing conditions?

Initially, any pre-existing conditions would not be covered for 2 years – however, if you have not received treatment for these conditions during this time, you may be able to cover pre-existing conditions after the 2-year period.

How much does Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cost?

The cost depends on several factors such as out-patient benefit levels, excess level, hospital choice, postcode, your age, and whether you choose added benefits such as dental, etc. Please contact our advisers for a bespoke quote to suit your situation.

Why would I need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance?

The Home Office requires you to have this type of policy to fulfil residency requirements, if you are an EU national living in the UK, and you are unemployed or a student. Currently, permanent UK residency is automatic once you have been a resident for 5 years.

Does it take long to set up the policy?

Usually, we can set up the policy the same day using our online portals after we have received your quote and accepted the premium. Normally, the hard copy documents will be sent to you within 5 – 7 working days.

Do I need to have a medical for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance?

No, you do not need to have a medical. The two most popular types of underwriting on these policies are either ‘fully medical underwritten’ or ‘moratorium’. Please refer to our Private Medical Insurance section for a full explanation of these options.

What’s the difference between Comprehensive Sickness Insurance and Private Medical Insurance?

Other than the restrictions on the excess available and level of out-patient cover, they are essentially the same thing.

Is Comprehensive Sickness Insurance the same as an Accident and Sickness policy?

No, an Accident and Sickness policy would not cover the cost of any treatment, if you were unable to work due to sickness or an accident – instead, this type of policy would pay you an income.

Would Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover pregnancy?

In some cases, private healthcare could cover complications pre/post-birth – however, it does not cover pregnancy generally.

Is there a maximum amount that can be claimed?

If there’s a limit on your out-patient benefit or added benefits (e.g. psychiatric), the benefit will stop once you reach the limit – however, asides from this, there is no specified maximum claim amount.


This information does not constitute financial or any other form of professional advice. Should you require advice, please contact us directly on 0116 366 6866. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.

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