UK nationals who are living in Spain or move to Spain permanently before the end of 2020, will see their rights to access healthcare in Spain stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as they remain resident.
The UK Government has issued the following information and strongly encourage those who haven’t yet registered for healthcare as a resident in Spain to do so. UK nationals can find further guidance on how to register correctly on the UK Government Healthcare in Spain page on gov.uk.
From 1 January 2021, the current UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid. Visitors and other groups travelling to the EU are already being advised to check their situation and make changes to their travel insurance cover.
However, there are a number of groups living and working in the EU and EFTA countries, such as those claiming state pensions, students and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), will continue to be covered as they are now, including the receipt of a UK issued EHIC.
These groups will need to apply for a new EHIC to replace their existing card
Please find below FAQs which gives further details about the new EHIC, who is eligible to apply and how they can do so.
Should you have any further queries relating to the new EHIC Portal, or any other healthcare related queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Government at email@example.com
COMMUNICATING THE LAUNCH OF THE CITIZENS RIGHTS AGREEMENT (CRA) EHIC PORTAL: SUPPORTING Q&A
From 01 January 2021, the current UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid. Visitors and other groups travelling to the EU/EEA are already being advised to check their situation and make changes to their travel insurance cover.
However, there are a number of groups living and working in the EU/EEA, such as those claiming state pensions, students and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement, will continue to receive their healthcare benefits and will need to register for a new EHIC. The cohorts listed below will be invited to apply for a new EHIC via an online portal in phases before the end of the Transition Period
- UK state pensioners living in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period
- Individuals who are frontier workers at the end of the Transition Period, for as long as they continue to be covered by the Agreement,
- UK students studying in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period
- EEA or Swiss nationals residing in the UK by the end of the Transition Period Supporting Q&A
Why is there a new EHIC?
The new EHIC is for UK-insured people in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) to demonstrate their continued entitlement to EHIC cover from 01 January 2021. A new card is required to make this status clear.
Who is eligible to receive it?
Those eligible to receive the new EHIC include:
- People with an S1 form receiving a UK qualifying pension or benefit (and their dependants).
- Frontier workers (those who live in the UK but work in an EU/EEA Member state) with an S1 form, for as long as they continue to be a frontier worker in their host state (and have started working there before 31 December 2020).
- EU Citizens living in the UK (including EFTA/Swiss nationals, EU Nationals who have successfully applied to the EU Settlement Scheme and some UK/EU Dual Nationals).
There are also people eligible to receive a time limited EHIC. This includes:
- Posted workers who are able to continue their posting under local immigration law for the duration of their posting.
- UK students studying in the EEA or Switzerland, for the duration of their study period abroad and limited to the country of study (for as long as they remain habitually resident in the UK).
When should I apply for my new card?
You can continue to use your current EHIC as normal until at least 31 December 2020, however it may not be valid after this date.
The Government are opening applications to the new CRA EHIC portal in phases, ensuring everyone who is eligible receives one in a timely way:
- S1 form holders: people receiving a UK qualifying pension or benefit and their dependant family members
- Frontier workers and their family members
- Students studying abroad for the duration of their study period abroad
- Posted workers who are able to continue their posting under local immigration law for the duration of their posting. The exact date depends on decisions from MS about whether posted workers can remain in the MS as a posted worker
- EU Nationals living in the UK and their dependant family members
Is there a deadline to apply?
No, but the Government recommend that you apply early, especially if you’re planning to travel in EU/EEA countries over the end of the year or in early 2021, as your current EHIC may not be valid then.
Will the new card provide any different entitlements?
No, the new EHIC will provide exactly the same entitlements as it currently does. However, EHIC does not replace travel insurance, and you should have both if you are travelling to the EU/EEA.
How long will the new UK EHICs be issued for?
This depends on your circumstances. If you’re a student, it’s valid until the end of your study period abroad. If you’re a frontier worker, it’s typically valid for two years. Currently, standard EHICs for UK residents and S1 pensioners last five years.
How long will it take for me to receive the card after applying?
You will receive a response to your application within five working days. Provided you register early, your new EHIC will be sent to you for use by 01 January 2021.
When will my new card be valid from?
Your new EHIC will be valid to use from the date it arrives at your address. You do not need to wait until 01 January 2021 to begin to use the card.
Can I apply by phone?
Applications are currently only accepted online, but further methods will be available later in the year.
Can I keep my old card until the new one arrives?
Yes – current EHICs will be valid until at least 31 December 2020 (unless the expiry date is sooner).
The Government also recommend that you keep your old card until your new card arrives, after which your old card should be safely disposed of.
What do I do if I need to travel before my new card arrives?
If you need to travel before your new EHIC arrives, you can use your current EHIC as long as it is in date and your trip concludes before 31 December 2020.
If your current EHIC is not in date, or if you will be travelling next year when your current EHIC may no longer be valid, you can obtain a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) should you require medically necessary treatment whilst abroad if you are within the scope of the WA.
Please note that the PRC can only be requested at the point of requiring care; it is not possible to request a PRC in advance of your trip.
Please contact NHSBSA on +44 (0)300 330 1350 should you require a PRC.
What do I do if my healthcare provider doesn’t recognise the new card?
Healthcare providers in EU/EEA member states have been informed of the new card design so should accept it. However, if you have trouble accessing your healthcare entitlements, you can contact the NHS Business Services Authority.