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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in 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 you’ve 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:
- 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
- registering a UK-issued S1 form with the Icelandic health insurance system
Healthcare if you live and work in Iceland
You must register as a resident if you’re 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 you’ve 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.
There’s a limit to how much you pay for your healthcare in Iceland. The maximum amount you’ll pay depends on:
- your age
- whether you have a disability
- how often you need to get medicine
Once you’re 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
How to register for healthcare
If you’re moving to Iceland from the UK, you’ll 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 you’re covered.
How much you’ll pay
State healthcare in Iceland is not completely free. You may have to pay some of the cost when you receive treatment.
Patient contributions are capped each month. The amount is lower if you’re a child, over 67 years old or disabled.
Once you’ve 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 you’re 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.
Children’s dental care is free if they register with a family dentist. There’s 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: using an S1 form in Iceland
There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.
If you started living in Iceland before 1 January 2021, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re an Icelandic resident and receive either:
- a UK State Pension
- some other ‘exportable benefits’
You may also be entitled to an S1 form if you’re a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if you’re 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.
You’ll 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.
How to get an S1 form
If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.
NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm
How to use an S1 form in Iceland
You must register your S1 form with Icelandic Health Insurance.
Complete the application for Icelandic health insurance form and send it with your S1 form to:
Icelandic Health Insurance
You can also email it to: email@example.com
Once registered, you’ll be entitled to state healthcare on the same basis as an Icelandic citizen.
Studying in Iceland
You should either:
- take out private travel insurance with healthcare coverage
- register as a resident to get state health insurance after 6 months
Speak to your university for further advice.
UK students in Iceland before 1 January 2021
If you were in Iceland to study before 1 January 2021, and have not yet registered as a resident, you need to apply for a new UK-issued EHIC.
Your EHIC entitles you to medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period in Iceland.
Make sure you also have travel insurance to cover the duration of your course.
Getting treatment in the UK
Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes UK nationals who started living in Iceland before 1 January 2021.
Read more about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.
If you return to live in the UK you’ll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.
Read more about using the NHS when you return to live in the UK.