European Health Card (EHIC).
EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD (EHIC) is valid for holidaymakers and temporary visitors ONLY who need to use the state health system while in another EU country. If you are not normally a resident of the UK and/or your centre of interest is no longer the UK, the Spanish authorities may decide to treat you as a private patient. In Spain the EHIC may be used only for care that arises from illness and/or accidents that occur duirng a visit outside of the UK. The Spanish authoities may ask for payment for such services, reimbursable upon application by the British Healthcare authorities.
If you are a resident of the UK, you should apply for your EHIC before travelling to other EU member states. Please, note: A UK EHIC is usually only valid for three to five years. Thereafter you will need to apply again. If you cease being a UK resident you need to return your EHIC to the Department of Health immediately. An application for a EHIC is available at any UK Post Office - it is no longer availbe on line.
Treatment covered by the EHIC.
- all medical care that becomes necessary during a temporary stay.
- oxygen and dialysis treatment, as well as treatment for chronic diseases or pre-extising illness. You should inform healthcare authorities at your destination in Spain before you travel to ensure that supplies are avalable.
- routine maternity care.
- 60% off prescriptions, and 90% off for prescriptions for pensioners, (you may need to prove your pensioner status to get this discount - see below).
Treatment NOT covered by the EHIC.
The EHIC will not cover you for:
- if getting treatment is the main purpose for your trip. In this case you need to get permission from your UK local healthcare trust who will issue you with form E112.
- for private sector healthcare providers. You must use the State Health System.
- if you are a resident of Spain. If you live here, check with the Department for Works and Pensions whether you have any entitlement to free healthcare in Spain.
Getting prescriptions if you are a pensioner.
Additional documentation is often requested as proof of pensioner status to get 90% discount off prescriptions when on holiday. If you provide proof of pensioner status that is not accepted by the local health authorities, you can apply for a refund when you return to the UK . Send your receipts, your prescriptions and a cover letter to:
DWP International Pension Centre, Overseas Healthcare Team, The Penson Service, Tyneview Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1BA, UK:
Alternatively, the Pension, Benefit & Healthcare Team at the British Consulate in Madrid, Malaga or Alicante can issue a cerificate, confirming that you are a pensioner. For this you will need.
- recent DWP correspondance, addressed to your UK address, regarding payment of pension or a bank statement showing payments of you pension.
Applying for an EHIC.
You can apply for your EHIC, free of charge, through the Department of Health:
- by phone: 0845 606 2030 or + 44 191 203 5555 (if outside the UK).
- by post: EHIC Applications, PO Box 1115, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 1SW.
- or pick up an application form at any Post Office in the UK.
Dependants cannot be included on an EHIC, so each family member needs to apply for their card.
More information is available on the UK EHIC on www.nhs.uk/ehic.