One of the most important things to carry about visiting or moving for a short time to another country is to know what healthcare you are going to receive in case you need it.
If you are visiting Spain, you should know that its health system is classified as one of the best in the world and that through the European Health Insurance Card you too can have access to its services.
Continue reading this post for a complete guide of the European Health Insurance Card in Spain.
What is the European Health Insurance Card?
The European Health Insurance Card in Spain or in any one of the 28 European Union member states, plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, is a free card that allows you to access public health services during a temporary stay in any of the countries mentioned.
The services provided will be under the same conditions and at the same cost as for persons insured in that country.
The cards are issued by the social security offices in your country.
What should you consider about the European Health Insurance Card in Spain?
The European Health Insurance Card does not cover private assistance such as the cost of returning flights to your home country or the loss or theft of personal items, and it does not cover private care if you are travelling for the purposes of receiving medical care.
The European Health Insurance Card does not guarantee free services because the public health system in each country is different. Services that are free in one country may not be free in another country. In Spain, public health care is free.
Who can benefit from the European Health Insurance Card in Spain?
If you are insured or covered by one of the public social security systems of some of the Member States of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, you may be entitled to this card.
Until when the European Health Insurance Card in Spain is valid?
European Health Insurance Card in Spain will be valid as long as you are not resident here or in the country where you are going to use it.
If you are on holidays, studying or working temporarily you will be able to use the European Health Insurance Card in Spain while you are not registered as a resident.
However, if you are registered as a resistant in Spain, the card will lose its value and will have to comply with the rules of the Spanish health system. On the other hand, you will have the same protection and conditions as other residents in Spain.
On the other hand, if you spend more than three months in one of the countries of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein it will be considered that you have to be registered as a resident in that country and the card will lose its validity, even if it does not expire.
If you are going to be working or studying for more than three months in any other country, you will have to communicate this when you apply for the card.
How to apply for European Health Insurance Card in Spain?
In Spain, if you are applying for the European Health Insurance Card for the first time or are receiving any social security service, you will have to go in person to the Social Security Office. In this case you will be able to stop or export them.
If this is not your case, you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card in Spain online. Once you have applied for the card, you will receive it within a period of no later than ten days.
If you cannot wait more than ten days, you can request a Provisional Replacement Certificate, which is the same as the European Health Insurance Card and is valid for 30 days. You can apply for this certificate at the Social Security Office or on the internet, but you must justify the emergency.
What does the European Health Insurance Card cover in Spain?
In Spain, public health care is free, so when you go to certain hospitals you will be offered two types of care: public and private.
You should inform them about the type of assistance you would like to receive. If you want to receive private medical assistance, remember that the European Health Insurance Card in Spain will not cover these costs.
If it is necessary to go to the health centre or hospital, check if they belong to the public health system and accept the European Health Insurance Card. You can consult at the Ministry of Health website which health centres or hospitals accept the card.
Hospitals must show the European Health Insurance Card on admission so that they do not charge as if they were private care and, except in emergencies cases, you need a medical authorization to receive hospital treatment.
What about dentist primary assistance? In Spain, except for some cases, dental treatment is not normally covered by the public health system, only in cases of prevention and specific assistance for minors.
What if I forget the European Health Insurance Card in Spain?
In Spain doctors cannot, as part of their professional ethics, deny health care to anyone who needs it immediately.
However, the medical centre or hospital may request you to pay the bill, complete or part of it, if you do not present the European Health Insurance Card, but you can later request a refund of the invoice, although there is no guarantee that you will be able to recover the full amount.
For an emergency, your local health authority could help you with a provisional Replacement Card Certificate by fax or email.
Spain has many Insurance companies that offer the best health insurance for you. Remember that in BMI Spain we can help you to find the appropriate Insurance company that will help you to cover all your needs.
Do not hesitate in contact with us if you have any doubts about healthcare in Spain, our BMI Spain team will be pleasant to help you.