Healthcare options for British Citizens in Spain
For UK citizens facing the uncertainty of Brexit, healthcare has to be a high priority when planning a happy and healthy life in Spain. Producing evidence of healthcare cover is now a condition of residence in Spain for very obvious reasons and fortunately there are a range of ways to get it.
Many British residents did not join the Spanish healthcare system because they were not contributing in the way they did in the UK with social security contributions, not realising that in Spain the healthcare system is funded by VAT and IRPF. So don’t feel shamed into thinking that you are not “contributing”; you are. So let’s take a brief review of the healthcare choices for British people in Spain.
You can pay into a private scheme with a Spanish, or international health policy. However, these are more expensive as you get older and pre-existing conditions are not always covered.
You are entitled to use the Spanish State Healthcare if you pay social security contributions through employment, or ‘profesionales autonomos’ status (self-employed) in Spain, or if you are in receipt of a Spanish pension.
If you are a UK pensioner you can (still) access healthcare by obtaining form S1 from the UK to transfer your medical assistance to Spain.
It is also possible to get healthcare on the basis of residency in Spain if you are not working and not a pensioner BUT have had residency before 24th April 2012. RD-ley 16/2012:
However, if you do not fall into any of the above categories you may be able to join the Spanish government’s special pay-in health insurance scheme known as the Convenio Especial. This allow access to the Spanish State healthcare system for €60 per person per month under the age of 65 and €157 for people older than 65. The scheme covers all pre-existing medical conditions but not prescription charges. It does not include a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for healthcare cover outside of Spain.
In order to apply, you must have been registered at the local Town Hall on the ‘padrón’ (or Certificado de Empadronamiento) in Spain for at least 1 year and you must not be in receipt of any healthcare cover from the UK.