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Applying for an EHIC Card as a Spanish Resident

- Updated: 02/10/2013
Applying for an EHIC Card as a Spanish Resident

The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), commonly known as a European Medical Card, can be used to cover any medical treatment provided by the state that you may require due to accident or illness during your time in Spain.

But this only applies when the holder is a resident of the UK.

Once you have become a resident of Spain you must either register for state healthcare or take out private medical insurance.

However if, like many expats living in Spain, you make occasional trips back to the UK – or take holidays to other EU countries – you can only benefit from a similar scheme if you register with the country where you are resident.

In other words if you are legally resident in Spain, planning a trip to the UK and wish to have your healthcare covered in the event of emergencies, then this will be provided by means of the Spanish version of the EHIC and not by an existing or old UK one which you may still have.

The Spanish version of the EHIC is called a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) and allows Spanish residents to benefit from emergency medical treatment and care when travelling within the EU.

Anyone covered by the Spanish social security system is entitled to apply for the card.

Applications should be made at your local Social Security Office (Note: Different offices perform different functions – you should look for ‘centro de atencion y informacion de la seguridad social’ - otherwise known as CAISS.)

Or, you can make you application online (In Spanish), by using the link HERE.

However, one exception is those who are resident in Spain, but not paying social security subscriptions, and claiming a pension from another EU Country. Under these circumstances applications must be submitted to the UK by post.

You can request an application form sending out for you and your dependants by calling the International Pension Centre (IPC) on +44 191 218 7777.

Comment on this Article

 
A further issue that is yet to be addressed is how Spain / Catalonia will react to each offering reciprocal Healthcare in the event that Catalonia becomes Independent from the rest of Spain (and therefore outside the EU ?) - On a similar level, How would Spain and Scotland view each other's position if Scotland was to become Independent of the EU ?.... And don't even get me started on how A Catalan Resident would be treated by Scotland if they needed Hospital treatment in the event of both countries gaining Independence !
Robster - Fri 12th Jul 2013
Steve, that really sucks as the UK has effectively washed their hands of you. It looks as though I was not covered for 3 years under EHIC by Spain or the UK. I suppose it depends on what proof the Spanish Health System requires to prove you're not on the UK system. Perhaps either/both the local or national Spanish residency forms will suffice to join their health system at a cost rather than the UK DWP forms and then you could 'forget' to tell the UK.
Mike - Fri 12th Jul 2013
If you are an early retiree and buy into the valencian health care system after affirming you are no longer entitled to use the NHS you will not be entitled to a UK EHIC. You are also not entitled to a Spanish EHIC as you are not in receipt of a state pension. One area that the EU could sort out, they must be to busy to reply to my email on this subject?
Steve Wager - Fri 12th Jul 2013
Mike - nothing you say in the latter post is incorrect. However health tourism would not be part of the equation. The scheme covers people who have health cover in one EEA member state who are on a temporary visit to another EEA member state,and is only for unforeseen, medically necessary treatment that arises during that visit - not for preplanned treatment. The only exception to that rule is for people who need ongoing treatment, for instance oxygen or blood tests. The NI number, as you say, does not prove you have cover in itself, but it does enable you to get a cover note sent out for you.
Flashcard - Mon 10th Dec 2012
OK Flashcard, the competent country for most people is their country of citizenship but it then gets a bit complicated if you have two equal or dissimilar pensions from two EU countries. On your second point, the DWP did say I should carry my NI number because they were took over 4 months to issue me with an EHIC but on your last point, I beg to differ as far as I was concerned. I'm not au fait what a UK S1 is but I was in receipt of a UK pension having claimed it a few years previously. Then my wife and I had to specifically fill out to forms to request the EHIC from the UK and hers came in 2 months and mine not at all until I kicked some ass's and then 3 came in the post within a week. I suggest that people pro-actively get hold of a EHIC rather than relying on a NI number as that in itself does not prove you have EHIC cover from any country. I'd be rather concerned if some hospital decided to clamp down on health tourists and tried to get the DWP to verify my status.
Mike - Wed 5th Dec 2012
And the information above is incorrect. The International Pension Centre does not send out the application form for the EHIC. It is posted out to you when the S1 is returned registered by the foreign authority. Prior to getting the EHIC you are still covered by the regulations. See previous post.
Flashcard - Wed 5th Dec 2012
Not quite true Mike. The 'competent' country provides your EHIC. If you were say, French by nationality but had worked and earned a UK state pension, you would have a UK S1. Therefore the UK would provide your EHIC. Important note for everyone - you are covered by the EHIC whether you have an actual card or not. If you were abroad and needed cover, an emergency Provisional Replacement Certificate is issued by the competent country if necessary. Always carry your National Insurance number or equivalent.
Flashcard - Wed 5th Dec 2012
Just a small point but around 2 years ago the country that issued you an EHIC card changed. It used to be the country of residence but now its the country of nationality. If you are British and resident in Spain you have to apply for it from the DWP. best of luck !
Mike - Wed 5th Dec 2012
Obviously by the time I figure all this out I´ll be dead in a ditch (possibly lion fodder too if I ever go to Essex).
Mo - Mon 27th Aug 2012
May be worth quoting this link http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/EUregulations.aspx when making EHIC reference to UK Nationals/Citizens who are resident in Spain and receive healthcare under the S1 (Pensioner)(or Family Member) (ex E121) scheme
Mike Elliott - Mon 27th Aug 2012