SPANISH HEALTH SYSTEM
If you’re thinking of moving to Spain, one of the first things to consider is health insurance.
The majority of people living in Spain are covered for health treatment by the social security system (INSALUD), and doctors in Spain are as highly qualified as in any other EU country, sometimes even more so. Medical attention is given in public hospitals and medical centres, offering primary care services, as well as specialised attention to patients.
Generally, if you are living in Spain you will be insured under social security legislation and you will not have any liability for social security contributions in your home country.
If you’re living in Spain for long periods but don’t work there or if you are resident and European Citizen you have the same rights that Spanish to receive medical care, showing the new European Health Insurance Card (EHC), which will replace gradually the current temporary forms (E111 y E128) since 1 of July of 2004. This card is valid for the period shown in the card.
- Form E111: tourists and non residents in Spain (property owners) from the European Community.
- Form E128: used by students.
Before moving to Spain or coming for a few months you should apply for the EHC in your country. If you arrive to Spain without the European Health Card, you will have to pay all the costs generated by medical attention (hospital bill, medicine, doctors…), and you must to keep all the receipts in order to get part or the total costs back from the Health Department in your country.
Remember that the European Regulation for using the European Health Card is not valid if you have travelled to Spain in order to receive specific medical treatment. The same applies to all other EU countries.
If you need a specific treatment you will have to fill the E-112 form; Dental treatment and repatriation for medical care are not covered.
The European Health Insurance Card will be operative progressively, depending of the different European country you come from.
Useful information on forms currently used:
Form E-121: Valid for people within the European Community. If you’re planning to move or live in Spain, you can obtain this form from your national Health Insurance Office. It covers you for accidents or urgent illnesses.
You have to register this form with the Spanish National Health Services (INSS), normally in the local “Centro de Salud”. Afterwards you will receive the card by post with information on the health centre and doctor allocated to you.
Form E-111: Valid for Spanish property owners who are not living in Spain permanently but staying for several long periods over the year as a non-resident. The E-111 form is standard for all member states of the EU and it is usually available at post offices. This form enables residents of EU countries to receive free medical care when visiting another country, under a reciprocal agreement between European Union governments.
Non European visitors
If you are not from an EU country and are thinking of living in Spain for a couple of months, you should telephone or visit the Spanish consulate before leaving your home country to enquire about the forms you may need to take with you, and also, if there is a bilateral agreement for medical care.
Private health insurance may also be contracted but the expenses are not refundable (except in special emergency cases).
The most important private health insurance companies in Spain are:
- DKV Seguros
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