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Healthcare

Who is entitled?

People who are ordinarily resident in the UK.

However, please note that form E111 is no longer valid from 1st Jan 2006 and has been replaced with the EHIC,
which is valid for 3 to 5 years. The quickest and easiest way to get a European Health Insurance Card (credit card sized plastic document) is to apply online although it is possible to apply by phone.

Tel: 0845 606 2030
Email: www.dh.gov.uk/travellers
Pensioners over 65 can obtain form E121 from the DSS.

People who are working and paying social security in Spain are entitled to a similar medical cover as in the UK.

What is covered?

The treatments covered are those which are generally provided free in the UK, but not all GP, dental or ophthalmic treatment. You will also have to pay for your prescriptions unless a pensioner.Residents not entitled to the use of the healthcare system should arrange adequate medical insurance. This can be obtained from a Spanish company or from an international insurer, and an average yearly policy will cost around 600 pounds. This will of course depend on age and any existing medical problems.

New Scheme for Obtaining Healthcare for British Residents

The Regional Health Authority in Valencia has announced a new scheme for obtaining healthcare. Under its Convenio Especial – a scheme that is part of wide ranging reforms to the health system – British residents without access to state healthcare now have the opportunity to join the new Spanish health insurance scheme.

Martyn Standing of the healthcare team at the British Consulate in Alicante said: "This is great news. It means almost everyone who currently lacks the right to state healthcare can now get themselves covered."

"We would urge people who are in need of health cover to sign-up. Waiting until you're ill before you sort out access to a doctor can easily result in an unwelcome bill."

Requirements of the Scheme:

  • You must be able to prove actual residence in Spain for a minimum continuous period of one year immediately preceding the date of application – this is normally proven through being registered on the padrón;
  • The amount of the fees payable is 60 Euros a month for working-age people, while those over 65 will have to pay 157 Euros per month via direct debit. Children must also be paid for in their own right as they are not included as dependants;
  • People with pre-existing conditions can join – this insurance scheme gives full access to the state healthcare system;
  • You do not have the right to healthcare through other means – e.g. as a state pensioner;
  • Pharmacy costs are additional – you must pay 100% of the cost of any prescriptions. However medications given whilst someone is in hospital are free;
  • All applications must be made in writing to the Regional Health Authority – people cannot apply through their health centre.