Healthcare for UK nationals living in Sweden

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

Stay up to date

This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Sweden.

Sign up for email alerts

This information is about living in Sweden. There’s different guidance about visiting Sweden.

You need to be registered as a resident in Sweden to access state healthcare. You may still have to pay for some medical care.

UK nationals usually access the Swedish healthcare system in one of these ways:

  • registering as a resident and then registering for healthcare
  • using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays when studying, or as a ‘posted’ (detached) worker
  • registering a UK-issued S1 form with one of the insurance funds (see ‘UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Sweden’ below)

Healthcare if you live and work in Sweden

If you are planning on moving to Sweden, see the guidance on Living in Sweden for more information about visa and residency requirements.

You must show proof of healthcare cover:

  • before you can register as a resident
  • when you apply for a visa

For details about the healthcare cover required for residency applications, contact local authorities in Sweden or the appropriate Swedish embassy or consulate in the UK.

Anyone who is registered as a resident in Sweden can register for state healthcare.

This is the same if you’re employed, self-employed or not working.

You can register your dependants for healthcare at the same time as you.

You may be entitled to a Swedish EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK.

You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension (see ‘UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Sweden’ below).

How to register for healthcare

Apply for a residence permit

Register with your local Swedish tax office (Skatteverket). They will give you an ID card and personal identity number (personnummer). This takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Show your ID card and personal identity number when you use healthcare services.

How to access healthcare services

Find your nearest hospital or clinic on the website.

How much you’ll pay

Patients have to pay towards their medical care and the cost varies in different parts of Sweden.

Example costs include:

  • GP appointments: 100 to 300 Swedish krona
  • paediatric appointments: 200 to 350 Swedish krona
  • hospital stays: 100 Swedish krona

Some healthcare services have a price limit so that you do not have to pay more than 1,150 Swedish krona per year. This does not include dental care and hospital stays.

Prescription costs depend on the medicine, but you will not have to pay more than 2,300 Swedish krona per year.

If your UK employer has sent you to Sweden 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.

UK posted workers can access healthcare in Sweden using an EHIC, GHIC or S1 form.

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.

If you’re a posted worker, your employer must first register you at the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

You must then register your S1 form with:

  • the Swedish tax authority (Skatteverket)
  • a social insurance agency (Försökringskassan)

UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Sweden

There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a ‘posted worker’ (see ‘If your UK employer has sent you to Sweden temporarily (‘posted workers’)’ above).

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re a resident in Sweden and receive a UK State Pension or an exportable benefit. See Planning your healthcare abroad on the NHS website for more information about eligibility.

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.

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.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Swedish system.

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

You’ll also get:

Dependants and family members may be classified differently in Sweden than the UK.

Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.

If you’re entitled to an S1 form as a dependant of a State Pensioner, your health cover will be cancelled once you begin claiming your UK State Pension.

You will be sent a new S1 form to your registered address from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. You must register this form to ensure continuation of healthcare cover.

You are responsible for informing NHS Overseas Healthcare Services if you change your address or your circumstances change.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension or another qualifying exportable benefit, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services (see contact details above).

How to use an S1 form in Sweden

You must register your S1 form with:

  • the Swedish tax authority (Skatteverket)
  • a social insurance agency (Försökringskassan)

Once registered, you will be entitled to healthcare on the same basis as a Swedish citizen.

If you are experiencing delays registering your S1 with local authorities and require emergency or urgent treatment, contact the Overseas Healthcare Services on 0044 191 218 1999.

Studying in Sweden

You should apply for a Student GHIC to get medically necessary, state-provided healthcare for the duration of your study period in Sweden, whether this is for part or all of your course. This means that you’ll get necessary healthcare services on the same basis as a Swedish citizen either for free or at a reduced cost.

If you already hold a valid Student EHIC you can use this until the card expires.

Read more about eligibility and how to apply

You should also register as a resident if your course is longer than a year to get state health insurance.

Getting treatment in the UK

Because the NHS is a residency-based system, under NHS rules UK nationals who move abroad on a permanent basis may lose their entitlement to free NHS healthcare.

If you are a UK national and move to the EU, you should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK unless you have an EHIC, PRC or S2 to show your healthcare costs are funded by the EU country in which you now live, or another exemption applies.

Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes:

  • UK war pensioners
  • UK government employees
  • UK nationals living in the EU on or before 31 December 2020, once they have a registered, UK-issued S1

Read more about using the NHS when you no longer live in the UK (see ‘UK nationals who no longer live in the UK’ in Healthcare for visitors to the UK from the EU).

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.

Published 23 September 2019
Last updated 22 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Healthcare if you live and work in Sweden' to include information about how to find your nearest hospital or clinic. Updated 'UK-funded healthcar' to include information for S1 dependants who begin claiming a UK State Pension, and guidance for S1 holders who are experiencing delays in registering their S1. Updated 'Studying in Sweden' to include more information on Student GHIC and Student EHIC cards. Updated 'Getting treatment in the UK' to provide additional detail about NHS access when visiting the UK.

  2. Updated posted worker section as Sweden has confirmed posted workers can continue working and accessing state healthcare in Sweden, and added detail to ‘getting treatment in the UK’ section about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.

  3. Updated sections on living and working in Sweden, using an S1 form in Sweden, posted workers and studying in Sweden. Changes reflect healthcare arrangements for people moving to Sweden under the new rules of the UK’s deal with the EU.

  4. Updated 2 sections: ‘Healthcare if you’re using an S1 form in Sweden' and ‘Healthcare if you’re studying in Sweden’. Students and people with a registered S1 in Sweden can now apply for a new UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that will remain valid from 1 January 2021.

  5. First published.