Better health is a top reason people say they would considering living and working abroad, according to research from Aviva UK Health.

Over three quarters of people say that they’d consider moving abroad to help improve their health and wellbeing, with 40% saying that they’d do so to improve their work/life balance and 36% believing that other countries offer them a healthier environment and more varied lifestyle.

When asked what they’d miss most about the UK, health once again figured highly with almost a quarter (23%) of those questioned naming the national health service as the thing they’d miss the most. A massive 64% believe that the UK enjoys better state health benefits than other countries with just seven per cent believing the reverse. Only eight per cent of people claim they would miss the UK’s hectic working culture.

Despite this, over a third of young workers (34%) wouldn’t consider taking out additional health insurance if they were moving abroad. Aviva’s research also shows a high level of ignorance about the level of state healthcare UK citizens are entitled to in other countries.

Teresa Rogers, international sales and marketing manager at Aviva UK Health, comments:

“In the UK we’re in the enviable position of being able to choose to complement the ‘free at the point of delivery’ health services available from the NHS with a private health insurance policy. However, in many countries private health insurance is a necessity you can’t afford to be without.”

A quarter of those surveyed have no idea what state healthcare provision they are entitled to if they move overseas. Further more, nearly one in five (17%) think that they’d automatically qualify for free healthcare abroad.

Similarly, when asked about Europe specifically, almost half (41%) wrongly believe that as a UK citizen they automatically qualify for state-funded healthcare within the EU and Commonwealth.

Rogers said: “Healthcare provision varies greatly around the world and even routine medical care can prove costly in countries that don’t offer a similar service to the NHS.

“While we’re delighted to see that the majority of people would consider taking out additional private health insurance if they move overseas, our research clearly shows that many people have a very limited understanding of overseas health provision which could result in them choosing inappropriate cover or worse still, wrongly believing that either the state will provide cover or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is sufficient.