Guidance

Healthcare for UK nationals living in Norway

How to get state healthcare if you live, work or study in Norway.

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This information is about living in Norway. There’s different guidance if you’re visiting Norway.

If you’re living in Norway before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Norway will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident.

This guidance explains what you need to do in Norway depending on your circumstances.

Anyone registered as a resident in Norway has a right to access the Norwegian state healthcare system.

State healthcare in Norway is not completely free. Healthcare costs are covered by both the state and through patient contributions (user fees).

At the moment, UK nationals usually access the Norwegian healthcare system (called Helfo) in one of these ways:

  • making contributions to the National Insurance Scheme through their employer or as a self-employed person
  • using a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering a UK-issued S1 with the National Insurance Scheme

The S1 form entitles UK nationals access to state healthcare on the same basis as a Norwegian citizen. You’re entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits. Find out more about the S1.

Healthcare if you live and work in Norway

You must register as a resident if you’re living in Norway for more than 3 months.

Once you’re a resident, you’re entitled to state healthcare on the same basis as a Norwegian citizen.

If you’re employed or self-employed, you’ll make contributions to the National Insurance Scheme.

If you’re living in Norway before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Norway will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident.

This means you’ll continue to get state healthcare in Norway from 1 January 2021 on the same basis as a Norwegian resident.

You’ll also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

How to register

You first need to register as a resident in Norway. You’ll receive a Norwegian ID number. This is the same number you’ll use for healthcare access.

If you’re employed, your employer will sign you up to the National Insurance Scheme automatically. You’ll make contributions through your payroll.

If you’re self-employed, you first need to register your business on the national register (website in Norwegian). You can then sign up to the National Insurance Scheme.

Once you’ve joined you’ll be able to access healthcare services through the Norwegian state healthcare system, Helfo.

Give your Norwegian ID number when you register with a GP and each time you have an appointment.

To be referred to a specialist you need to see your GP first.

How much you’ll pay

State healthcare in Norway is not completely free. You may have to pay some of the cost of any treatment.

Find out how much you’ll need to pay for health services (in Norwegian).

If you’re a hospital inpatient, treatment is free. There are charges for outpatient treatment.

If you have an occupational health injury, Helfo may cover the full cost of your treatment.

Dentists and dental hygienist fees will vary as they can set their own prices.

Once you’ve spent a certain amount on state healthcare in a calendar year, you can get an exemption card (‘frikort’).

Your exemption card means the National Insurance Scheme will cover most of your user fees for the rest of the calendar year.

If your UK employer has sent you to Norway temporarily (‘posted workers’)

A posted worker is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to another European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Currently, posted workers can use an EHIC or an S1 form to access Norwegian healthcare.

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.

There will be no changes to healthcare access for posted workers in Norway before the end of 2020.

You can continue to use your EHIC or S1 during this time.

UK-funded healthcare: using an S1 form in Norway

There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Norway 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 you’re a posted worker or 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 Norwegian system.

This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Norway on the same basis as a Norwegian citizen.

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 Norway

You must register your S1 with the Norwegian state healthcare service Helfo. Send your S1 form to:

Helfo
Postboks 2415
3104 Tønsberg

Give your Norwegian ID number each time you access healthcare. This will prove that you’re an S1 holder and are entitled to healthcare on the same basis as a Norwegian citizen.

UK-funded healthcare using an S1 from 1 January 2021

If you’re living in Norway before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from 1 January 2021 if you’re either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving another ‘exportable benefit’
  • a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another)

This means that you’ll get:

  • continued access to healthcare in Norway using your UK-issued S1 form
  • a UK-issued EHIC for travel
  • planned treatments in other EU countries via the S2 route
  • access to the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales when you’re visiting the UK

Studying in Norway

You can apply for a student EHIC. This is different from a normal EHIC, and entitles you to cover for longer.

Your EHIC gives you access to emergency or necessary state healthcare in Norway on the same basis as a Norwegian resident.

An EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. You should have both to cover the duration of your course.

If you started studying in Norway before the end of 2020, your EHIC will be valid for the rest of your course.

Moving back to the UK

If you return to the UK permanently 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.

Published 23 September 2019