Discover our health insurance policies specifically designed for expats in the Channel Islands
Foyer Global Health covers expats’ health in the Channel Islands who are seeking for a private health insurance solution tailored to their needs.
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Ready to settle in the heart of the Channel, just a stone’s throw from the Normandy coast and the United Kingdom? With their windswept beaches, majestic cliffs and bucolic landscapes, the Channel Islands captured the heart of exiled poet Victor Hugo over a century ago. Since then, hundreds of expatriates working in finance, banking and tourism have been equally captivated.
Each of the islands has its own cultural mix – half British, half Norman – and its own independently run health system.
What health coverage is available in the Channel Islands? Foyer Global Health offers a brief overview of health coverage on Jersey and Guernsey and explains why international health insurance is always your best bet as an expat…
Channel Islands’ healthcare systems are independent from the NHS
Although the Channel Islands are dependent territories of the British Crown, they are not part of the UK. Specifically, the islands’ healthcare systems are not linked to the NHS and each bailliage has its own scheme managed independently. The islands are not part of the EU either: the European Health Insurance Card is not recognized by healthcare providers in the Channel Islands.
There are, however, bilateral health agreements in existence (Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements – RHA), notably between the Island of Jersey and other countries including the UK. But these agreements are subject to constraints and generally only cover people for short-term stays.
Jersey’s healthcare system
Private and public health services in Jersey are good but quite expensive compared to those delivered by the NHS in the UK.
Access to medical care
Anyone who has been a resident on Jersey for at least six months can obtain a health card from the Social Security Department. This card entitles the cardholder and their family to medical benefits such as full coverage of most prescription drugs, certain non-emergency specialist treatments and a £20 discount on the cost of medical visits (deduction).
However, for the first six months of their stay on Jersey, expatriates must cover most medical costs themselves, unless they fall under specific categories of residency.
On Jersey, General Practitioners’ practices are private businesses, and you will have to pay for the visit. Medical fees may vary from one practice to another and may be higher for some additional services such as blood tests. If you possess a health card, your fee will be £62, without it the fee is £82.
While emergency treatment at the Jersey General Hospital is free of charge to anyone who needs it (resident or not), hospital non-emergency care is only free for eligible persons, including Jersey residents with a health card who are working on the island or receiving a pension from the island government.
All dentists in Jersey work in private practice. In general, all dental costs must be paid by the patient, unless they belong to specific categories including children under the age of eleven who are entitled to partial coverage of dental costs.
Medical care and treatment related to maternity are free.
Guernsey’s healthcare system
Access to healthcare
Funded by the Committee for Employment and Social Security, Guernsey’s healthcare system is efficient and relies on a network of medical centres, nine GP practices and Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
In order to access the island’s health insurance system, Guernsey’s residents must pay into an income-related contributions scheme. Residents who work and pay contributions into the social security scheme have access to several benefits including subsidized consultations.
Upon arrival, to access local health benefits, expatriates must register with the Social Security Department.
General medical services and emergency care are not free
On Guernsey, primary health care, including GP consultations and emergency care, is provided on a private basis.
The GP is the patient’s primary contact: they identify their medical needs, deliver prescriptions and refer patients to specialists when necessary.
As an expat, you will be required to pay for your consultations with a GP as well as for emergency treatment at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (fixed costs are based on time of arrival and the nature of the emergency). Hospital visits at certain hours are more expensive, and consultation fees increase according to the severity of the patient’s medical condition.
It should be noted that ambulance services (St John) are also not free of charge in Guernsey. That is why many residents choose to take out an ambulance subscription scheme to cover potential emergency transportation costs.
Most specialist healthcare services are free for residents
The Specialist Health Insurance Scheme allows the island’s residents who pay into the social security scheme to access most specialist healthcare services free of charge. Specialist care and treatment, provided by the Medical Specialist Group, are generally only available upon referral from a GP.
What about medicine?
The cost of prescription medicine is currently capped at £3.80 per item.
Why do I need international health insurance to live in the Channel Islands?
Due to restrictions related to local health cover and access to healthcare, international health insurance is recommended for expats.
An international health insurance policy gives you peace of mind and security. It provides you with comprehensive and flexible coverage tailored to your unique personal needs. It further ensures that you are fully protected if you need to go abroad to receive specialist treatment with more specialised healthcare facilities.
Why choose Foyer Global Health for your relocation to the Channel Islands?
Foyer Global Health offers a comprehensive package of services
- A 100% health coverage plan in the Channel Islands, your home country and abroad
- Access to public and private healthcare services worldwide, including in case of emergency
- Effective and flexible health cover at a competitive price
- Rapid reimbursement
- A tailor-made insurance policy with several levels of coverage
- 24-hour multilingual emergency medical assistance service
Contact our experts to receive personal advice on the ideal health insurance solution for your new life in the Channel Islands! Our experts will be delighted to assist you in choosing the best Foyer Global Health plan to suit all your healthcare needs.