Spain is a very popular tourist destination for many Brits. If you are visiting Spain for your holidays, it is very important to make your health cover a number one priority. Due to being a citizen of the European Economic Area, you have a number of different entitlements. One of these entitlements is the right to own a European Health Insurance Card. Having an EHIC Card is imperative to access medically necessary treatment inside Spain.
The European Health Insurance Card lets you access medically necessary treatment in any European Economic Area country including Switzerland. With the card in Spain, you can access medical treatment on the same basis as a Spanish resident and at the same cost.
British residents are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card and the benefits that it provides. It grants access to healthcare in the European Economic Area even if it is treatment for a pre-existing medical condition. Providing you are a United Kingdom resident, you can apply for an EHIC Card. If you wish to apply, you can do so at this website.
What Does the EHIC Cover Me for in Spain?
If you are in Spain, you are covered for any kinds of treatment which are classed as ‘medically necessary’ providing you carry a valid and up to date European Health Insurance Card. The decision to categorise treatment as ‘medically necessary’ usually rests with the doctor who is treating you at the time. There are, however, restrictions in place which means that you can’t use your EHIC Card in certain scenarios. An example of one of these restrictions is that you cannot use your EHIC Card to cover expenses for treatment if the sole purpose of your trip to Spain was to simply receive medical treatment.
Providing it is arranged in advance by your doctor, it is possible to receive oxygen treatment or to receive dialysis. Treatment, which is deemed to be necessary, also includes specialist treatment or routine treatment for an ongoing illness.
What are the charges for using the Spanish health care system?
The European Health Insurance Card enables you to receive medical care on the same basis as a Spanish national. However, the Spanish healthcare system is different from the NHS in the United Kingdom. Generally speaking, if you are below the legal age of retirement, you are expected to pay half of all of your prescription costs if you hold a valid European Health Insurance Card. Spanish nationals usually pay in between 10% and 60% of their costs for prescriptions. However, if you fall in to the pension age category, prescription costs are only 10% of their normal price.
The EHIC Card, Do I Need One?
Expenses from the costs of accidents and illnesses may be covered by your insurance. However, it is still vitally important to own your own EHIC Card and apply for one, before you travel, if you do not already have one. This is because travel insurance might not necessarily cover every essential treatment or you could possibly find that you have been disqualified from a pay-out for reasons such as a pre-medical condition or even your age. So if you are traveling to Spain, remember to apply for that all important EHIC.