National Health Insurance Act 1936

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1936 c. 32


National Health Insurance Act, 1936

(26 Geo. 5 & 1 Edw. 8) CHAPTER 32.

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to National Health Insurance.

[14th July 1936]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Insured Persons and Contributions.

Part I .

Insured Persons and Contributions.

Employed Contributors and Voluntary Contributors.

Employed Contributors and Voluntary Contributors.

S-1 Insured persons.

1 Insured persons.

1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, all persons of the age of sixteen and upwards who are employed within the meaning of this Act shall be, and any such persons who are not so employed but who possess the qualifications hereinafter mentioned may be, insured in manner provided in this Act, and all persons so insured (in this Act referred to as ‘insured persons’) shall be entitled in the manner provided by, and subject to the conditions contained in, this Act to the benefits in respect of health insurance and prevention of sickness conferred by this Act.

S-2 Employed contributors.

2 Employed contributors.

(1) The persons employed within the meaning of this Act are all persons of either sex, whether British subjects or not, who are engaged in any of the employments specified in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, not being employments specified in Part II of that Schedule:

Provided that, subject to the approval of the Treasury, provision may be made by special order for including among the persons employed within the meaning of this Act any persons engaged in any of the excepted employments specified in Part II of the said Schedule, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as may be specified in the order.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in this or the preceding section, a person shall not be deemed to be an insured person by reason only that he is employed for the purposes of any business of which, within a period of two years immediately before the date when the employment began, he was the owner or part owner, if he is so employed by a relative, or by a company where the majority of the voting power or shares is in the hands of the employed person or his relatives or of the nominees of the employed person or his relatives.

In this subsection ‘relative’ means the husband or wife, son or daughter, or son-in-law or daughter-in-law, of the employed person, or any of them, and ‘nominee’ means a person who may be required to exercise his voting power on the directions of, or holds shares directly or indirectly on behalf of, the employed person or any of his relatives.

(3) Persons who are insured by reason of employment within the meaning of this Act are referred to as ‘employed contributors.’

S-3 Voluntary contributors.

3 Voluntary contributors.

(1) The persons not employed within the meaning, of this Act who are entitled to be insured persons (in this Act referred to as ‘voluntary contributors’) include, subject to the provisions of this Act, all persons who—

(a ) having been employed within the meaning of this Act and insured as employed contributors for a period, whether continuous or not, of one hundred and four weeks or upwards, have ceased to be so employed;

(b ) having become insured as employed contributors while insured as voluntary contributors, have ceased to be employed within the meaning of this Act;

(c ) being male exempt persons as hereinafter defined in respect of whom not less than one hundred and four contributions have been paid, have ceased to be employed within the meaning of this Act;

and who give notice within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that they desire to become voluntary contributors.

(2) All persons engaged in any excepted employment as respects whom the Minister is satisfied that in the special circumstances they should be allowed to be voluntary contributors may become such contributors.

(3) A man who, not being insured for the purposes of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1936 (hereinafter called ‘the Contributory Pensions Act’) marries a woman who is insured for the purposes of that Act and by or in respect of whom one hundred and four contributions have been paid under that Act, may, if he gives notice within the prescribed time after the marriage and in the prescribed manner, become a voluntary contributor.

(4) If a person who has under paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of section twenty-two of the Contributory Pensions Act or the corresponding provision of any Act repealed by that Act become a voluntary contributor for the purposes of the Contributory Pensions Act returns to Great Britain, he shall, at any time while he continues to be insured under that Act, be entitled, on giving notice in that behalf in writing to the Minister, to become a voluntary contributor for the purposes of this Act.

(5) In calculating the period of one hundred and four weeks for the purposes of paragraph (a ) of subsection (1) of this section, there shall—

(a ) in the case of a person who, being a man, was immediately before he became insured as an employed contributor an exempt person or entitled to medical benefit by reason of having been an exempt person, be included the number of weeks for which contributions under this Act were paid in respect of him as an exempt person;

(b ) in the case of a person who, within a period of twenty-one months before he became insured as an employed contributor, was employed in an employment which is an excepted employment by virtue of a certificate given under paragraph (b ) or paragraph (c ) or paragraph (d ) of Part II of the First Schedule to this Act, not being an excepted employment by virtue of paragraph (k ) of that Part of that Schedule, be included the number of weeks for which contributions under the Contributory Pensions Act were paid in respect of him;

as if in either case such weeks had been weeks for which he was employed within the meaning of this Act and insured as an employed contributor.

S-4 Regulations with respect to voluntary contributors.

4 Regulations with respect to voluntary contributors.

(1) Regulations prescribing the time and the manner in which persons are to give notice that they desire to become voluntary contributors may make different provisions for different classes of contributors.

(2) Notwithstanding any limit of time prescribed in any such regulations in relation to the persons mentioned in paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of the last preceding section, any such person who has been continuously insured since the beginning of the year nineteen hundred and eighteen and was on or before the first day of January of that year a voluntary contributor, may become a voluntary contributor at any time before he ceases to be insured.

(3) Regulations may provide for determining the date as from which a person who has elected to become a voluntary contributor is to be treated for any purpose of this Act as a voluntary contributor.

Exempt Persons.

Exempt Persons.

S-5 Exempt persons.

5 Exempt persons.

(1) Where any person employed within the meaning of this Act proves that he—

(a ) is in receipt of any pension or income of the annual value of twenty-six pounds or upwards not dependent on his personal exertions; or

(b ) is ordinarily and mainly dependent for his livelihood on some other person; or

(c ) is ordinarily and mainly dependent for his livelihood on the earnings derived by him from an occupation which is not employment within the meaning of this Act; or

(d ) has not been employed within the meaning of this Act for the prescribed number of weeks during any prescribed period;

he shall be entitled to a certificate exempting him from the liability to be insured under this Act.

(2) An insured person to whom a certificate of exemption is granted shall on the grant of the certificate cease to be an insured person.

(3) All claims for exemption shall be made to, and certificates of exemption granted by, the Minister in the prescribed manner and subject to the prescribed conditions, and, if it is so prescribed, any such claims may be made to, and any such certificates may be granted by, approved societies and insurance committees hereinafter mentioned.

(4) A person holding a certificate of exemption under this section is in this Act referred to as ‘an exempt person.’

Period of Insurance.

Period of Insurance.

S-6 Free insurance period.

6 Free insurance period.

(1) Subject as hereinafter provided, where an insured person, being a member of an approved society, ceases to be employed within the meaning of this Act or to pay contributions as a voluntary contributor, as the case may be, he shall, during a period ending on the thirtieth day of June, or the thirty-first day of December, whichever next precedes the expiration of two years from the end of the contribution week in which he ceased to be so employed or in respect of which the last contribution paid by him as a voluntary contributor was paid (which period is hereinafter called a ‘free insurance period’), be treated for all purposes as if he were an employed contributor or a voluntary contributor, as the case may be, insured under this Act:

Provided that, if it is proved to the satisfaction of his approved society, or in the case of a dispute it is decided in manner provided by this Act, that when he ceased to be so employed or at the end of the contribution week in respect of which the last contribution paid by him as a voluntary contributor was paid he was incapable of work by reason of some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement of which notice is given within the prescribed time, the said two years shall be reckoned from the end of the contribution week in which...

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