Living in Spain as an expat it is important to protect yourself against the high cost medical treatment. The cost and quality of healthcare varies from town to town so you might need to travel to a different area if you seek specialist treatment.
When visiting Spain you need to be prepared for any medical emergency you might have. You can buy a local insurance policy as prep. Having an European Health Insurance Card is another good way of insuring yourself. European Health Insurance Card stands for European Health Insurance Card and it is valid for UK citizens who are going on a holiday or for people who are going to any other EEA country for a temporary stay. If you have an European Health Insurance Card card, you can have the same medical privileges as the citizens of that country. Therefore, if you were in Spain and whatever a Spanish national would be paying for their treatment you would be paying the same. Spanish nationals have to pay from 10 to 60 percent of their prescription so you would have the same privilege. Nevertheless, remember the card is not an alternative for travel insurance, as it will not cover any private healthcare costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts. Therefore, you can understand that you need travel insurance and European Health Insurance Card card both to have a safe and relaxed trip.
The applicant for EHIC must be an UK resident or of British citizenship or other EU/EEA nationality to be eligible. Swiss nationals are also eligible for an EHIC card. Residents of Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible for an EHIC. People who are eligible to receive UK state pension but are living in other EEA countries are also eligible for the EHIC card. If you have a different residence than the aforementioned countries then you need to provide the authorities with necessary documents that prove your eligibility.
Every member of your family needs their separate EHIC cards. If you are the caretaker of your family, you should apply for your card first and when you get yours, you can apply for other people such as spouse and children under the age of 19. People under the age of 16 need a parent or a guardian to apply for them.
You can apply online for an EHIC, which is free of charge. You can also apply for one through the phone lines of your respective country. Look in the public directory for the number of NHS Business Services Authority.
Each country has a different health care system and you might not get all the care and medicine you require free. New EHIC rules have been created so you no longer can make claims for refunds for the money paid abroad for health care. The EHIC will cover any medical treatment you might need during your trip such as illness or accident. In an emergency dial 112 from any phone or mobile to get the emergency services and this covered under the EHIC.
Even if you have an EHIC it is necessary to have a health insurance too as EHIC doesn’t cover for private medical care and you just might need it. So don’t take the chance of ending up with a huge medical bill. Take all the precautions necessary.
Find out more about the EHIC restrictions here: