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to think it's unfair we have to pay a £500 surcharge for the NHS

(196 Posts)
alaskanbaby Thu 02-Jul-15 21:20:57

My DH (let's call him Mr. Alaska) and I both work full time, and pay income tax like everyone else, which goes towards our use of the NHS like everyone else. We've just found out that we need to fork out a £500 surcharge for his use of the NHS as part of his extension of his immigration visa (for being my husband of 5 years, and father of our 18 month old DD - both she and I are British, though I guess she's sponging off the NHS quite a bit). Am I being unreasonable to think it's unfair that my DH has to pay twice?

VegasIsBest Thu 02-Jul-15 21:26:11

It's not unfair for people who are new to the country and haven't been paying tax for as long to be asked to pay a bit more.

If you had moved to your husband's country would you have received excellent and free health care immediately?

MadameJulienBaptiste Thu 02-Jul-15 21:29:10

If he is from alaska then i'm sure £500 is ridiculously cheap compared to US health insurance plus all the copays and deductibles. Not to mention the cost of all the things the health insurance won't cover.
you could always move to his home country to save the £500?

Purplepoodle Thu 02-Jul-15 21:29:25

Hes not british. If he wants it totally free then apply for dual citizenship

HermioneWeasley Thu 02-Jul-15 21:29:35

Doesn't seem unreasonable to me. How long does the £500 cover him for?

Movingonmymind Thu 02-Jul-15 21:33:02

Nope, sorry! Paid a shed load of tax and out for ptivaye insurance while overseas got severalyears amd got diddly squat. Thats life. If you choose to live overseas you will st times be treated as a foreigner. Uk damn sight better than most places!

alaskanbaby Thu 02-Jul-15 21:33:19

We are applying for residency - obviously it takes 5 years and £5000, so we're saving up. He's paid tax in the UK for all of the 10 years he's lived here over the last 15, apart from when he was an international student and paying £10,000 per year fees.
And he's been to the doctor about twice in the last year.
But I guess I'm just being unreasonable.

ostrichchurchyard Thu 02-Jul-15 21:33:22

Following that logic, shouldn't all (ie regardless of where they were born and raised) 18 year olds pay a surcharge too as they have not contributed through taxation?

WhattodowithMum Thu 02-Jul-15 21:36:25

Why £5000 pounds? That's much higher than I thought it was. Also, if he's been here for 19 years already, why does he have to wait another 5?

Nolim Thu 02-Jul-15 21:38:02

Op as an expat i agree that paying a surcharge on top on tax is unfair, it would be understandable for those who dont pay national insurance. But good luck convincing ppl that there are immigrants whi pay they fair share if taxes and di not abuse the system.

Viviennemary Thu 02-Jul-15 21:39:01

Well maybe he should go back to Alaska and then he would have to pay a lot more. Honestly some folk!

ProvisionallyAnxious Thu 02-Jul-15 21:39:18

YANBU. Isn't it £500 per year of the visa, as well?

For PPs saying that if you lived in Alaska you'd have to pay healthcare insurance - well, yes, but you wouldn't simultaneously be paying taxes towards a national health service.

Velocitractor Thu 02-Jul-15 21:39:57

I thought it was a bit unfair (I live in an EU country where all residents (including non-EU ) in the country for more than 3 months have access to free healthcare) but on the basis of the previous posts it seems mine is a lone voice!

MelanieCheeks Thu 02-Jul-15 21:40:12

Is this a new thing? I'm surprised, I admit. Have we all the relevant information?

Balanced12 Thu 02-Jul-15 21:41:33

£500 seems reasonable he could go private. It was people's parents and grand parents that built the system so a lot more has been put in by them.

alaskanbaby Thu 02-Jul-15 21:42:10

He had to work abroad for 2 years, so had to start again - hence the length of time. It takes 3 applications once you're married, and it's about £700 a pop, plus the £500 NHS charge for the first two times, and about £400 each time to go in person (we've not used the in-person service previously and the first time they lost his passport and the second time took 3 months when he got stuck in Belgium).
But like I said, I'm obviously being unreasonable. We could easily sell our house, quit our jobs, take our daughter away from her relatives and friends and just move to Alaska to no home and no jobs.

MadameJulienBaptiste Thu 02-Jul-15 21:45:01

Provisionally - US health insurance charges are massively more than UK national insurance. And don't cover as much.

ProvisionallyAnxious Thu 02-Jul-15 21:45:26


It is definitely true. From the horse's mouth:

Kampeki Thu 02-Jul-15 21:49:55

FWIW, OP, I think it is unfair, but obviously, I'm in a minority on this thread.

alaskanbaby Thu 02-Jul-15 21:51:19

Yes, it's a relatively new thing (the Tories brought it in)
One thing to remember, all you lovely mums, is that first they make the foreigners pay, and then they start on everyone else...

WidowWadman Thu 02-Jul-15 21:52:57

I agree that it's unfair and disproportionate. But the government does anything to work towards its shortsighted goal of reducing net migration.

HighOverTheFenceLeapsSunnyJim Thu 02-Jul-15 21:53:43

I think it's unfair.

FabULouse Thu 02-Jul-15 21:55:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Nolim Thu 02-Jul-15 21:57:18

Balanced the surcharge is independent of having private insurance or not.

lljkk Thu 02-Jul-15 21:58:18

Being non-EU immigrant can be expensive, yes.
With all the hype about health tourism, you understand why the charges, right?

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