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A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Old Mar 25th 2011, 7:20 pm
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Default A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

We have SIP cards issued in Valencia as I worked there & indeed live there.
Moved on a temporary basis to Mijas in Andalucia to look for work & visited the local salud where they looked quizzically at our strange health cards (to them)
You want to see the nurse to have your blood pressure taken ?, in that case you need to see the doctor first. (fill out this form)
OK but it is really not necessary etc etc etc ................ OK we will see the doctor.
Hello doctor (4 days later) we are here because etc etc, and we have bought these prescription with us to tied us over until we return to Valencia.
No good here mate, really?, yes I will issue you with new Andalusian ones & I am your doctor for your time here.

A call this morning from the Central Salud informed me that our cards are no good here, no good ?, yes I'm afraid so but do you have a European Health card ?. No we do not as we are still in Spain ! ................ ?????

BTW if a resident from Andalucia, in possession of a valid health card, wishes to visit Valencia for a spell would their card be acceptable there ........ ?? No.

In that case its just as well that I am now working here & legally so you can issue me with another health card then.


Can this story be true ?
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Old Mar 25th 2011, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

It happened to me just in Valencia at my own doctor. First the card was fine then I went to the doctor a while later and the cards were no good as I was temporary, then we got approval but temporary cards, then they ran out and when I went to the Health Centre for new ones it started all over again.

OK now though Took a good year from start to finish
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Old Mar 25th 2011, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Afraid so. Each province appears to have their own distinct health system. Some rules apply to the whole of Spain and some rules apply to individual areas. There may be some similarities but there are definitely differences.

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Old Mar 26th 2011, 7:14 am
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by The Oddities View Post
Afraid so. Each province appears to have their own distinct health system. Some rules apply to the whole of Spain and some rules apply to individual areas. There may be some similarities but there are definitely differences.

Rosemary
Yes that would seem to be the case, but an odd situation (IMO) as once in the system you have a national SS number that I assume stays with you for life & can be accessed via a quick swipe of a card.
Surely a Spanish national does not have this palaver when taking a holiday say for the month of August in another part of Spain (as many do)
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 7:30 am
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by playamonte View Post
Yes that would seem to be the case, but an odd situation (IMO) as once in the system you have a national SS number that I assume stays with you for life & can be accessed via a quick swipe of a card.
Surely a Spanish national does not have this palaver when taking a holiday say for the month of August in another part of Spain (as many do)
judging by the posters in our local medical centre, yes they do

'desplazados' - anyone not from the region, not just us foreigners - have to go to a different window & get a temp SIP card in order to see a doctor

they are issued pretty much on the spot though

I'm not sure what happens if they go to the hospital in an emergency, though I would imagine they'd be dealt withwithout too much palaver
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 7:37 am
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by playamonte View Post
Yes that would seem to be the case, but an odd situation (IMO) as once in the system you have a national SS number that I assume stays with you for life & can be accessed via a quick swipe of a card.
Surely a Spanish national does not have this palaver when taking a holiday say for the month of August in another part of Spain (as many do)
There is a facility for "deplazados" in the health centre, this section is not just for foreigners, but for nationals who are out of their "health area".

Loads of Spanish people use that service when they are away from home. And as far as I know although, not first hand, quite a few British too.
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 8:40 am
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by JLFS View Post
There is a facility for "deplazados" in the health centre, this section is not just for foreigners, but for nationals who are out of their "health area".

Loads of Spanish people use that service when they are away from home. And as far as I know although, not first hand, quite a few British too.
yes, my dad is a 'desplazado' & using his EHIC card

they issued him with a temp SIP card to use at the medical centre - though when we went to urgencias they wanted to see his EHIC

but when we went for a consultant appt. they wanted to see his SIP - not his EHIC

I just carry both in my purse now...............
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 10:31 am
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

I don't understand why the Andalucian Helath Service seems to base entitlement for extranjeros on the EHIC card.

When we first moved over, we registered our E106 forms at the local Social Security office, then went to the Health Centre and registered with a doctor, and received temporary cards which, we were informed, would need to be renewed after one year. After a year we duly went back, with our E106 forms, to renew the cards. However, this time they demanded an EHIC card. I tried to explain that this was no longer valid as it was issued by the UK and I was now resident in Spain, and that it was the E106 form that entitled us to two years' public health cover not the EHIC which should be for emergency treatment for visitors to the country, but to no avail. So I had to trudge home again and return to the health centre with my old EHIC card instead. Luckily we never needed to see a doctor or visit the hospital or I don't know what would have happened.

After the two years elapsed, of course, we took out private health insurance so the problem is shelved until such time as we become pensioners. I will be keeping my private health cover going until such time as I have my Tarjeta Sanitaria clutched firmly in my hot sticky little paw, though!
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

I am in Andalusia but I am a UK pensioner.

In my case as a retired person I registered using an E121 from UK. When I got married I got another E121 and registered my wife, who is a non European and under retirement age. Neither of us has ever had a problem using the Andalusia Heath Cards.


When I die though my wife will only be eligible for one more year, then no cover.
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by JulianWard View Post
I am in Andalusia but I am a UK pensioner.
In my case as a retired person I registered using an E121 from UK. When I got married I got another E121 and registered my wife, who is a non European and under retirement age. Neither of us has ever had a problem using the Andalusia Heath Cards.


When I die though my wife will only be eligible for one more year, then no cover.
Does this apply to EU widows/widowers as well?
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by Lynn R View Post
I don't understand why the Andalucian Helath Service seems to base entitlement for extranjeros on the EHIC card.

However, this time they demanded an EHIC card. I tried to explain that this was no longer valid as it was issued by the UK and I was now resident in Spain, and that it was the E106 form that entitled us to two years' public health cover not the EHIC which should be for emergency treatment for visitors to the country, but to no avail.
After the two years elapsed, of course, we took out private health insurance so the problem is shelved until such time as we become pensioners. I will be keeping my private health cover going until such time as I have my Tarjeta Sanitaria clutched firmly in my hot sticky little paw, though!
The EHIC used to be issued here to residents, it's all now changed and the EHIC is now issued by the country of your birth, in your case UK.
You need to ensure that you have an up to date card, you will need this not only for travel in Europe, it's also necessary should you require emergency treatment on visits back to the UK.

Once you are a pensioner and get your green health card it's for life, along with free prescriptions....but you will still need a valid EHIC for visits to the UK.
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

It is my understanding, however, that as someone who has retired early without being in receipt of a state pension, and not paying into either the British or Spanish social security systems, I will not be entitled to an EHIC card until I become eligible for my state pension. I really should take out travel insurance to cover visits to the UK, but so far I haven't bothered. My private health insurance here does provide a limited amount of cover when outside Spain anyway, but I certainly wouldn't rely on it if I were to visit the USA!

Am I wrong?
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by Lynn R View Post
It is my understanding, however, that as someone who has retired early without being in receipt of a state pension, and not paying into either the British or Spanish social security systems, I will not be entitled to an EHIC card until I become eligible for my state pension. I really should take out travel insurance to cover visits to the UK, but so far I haven't bothered. My private health insurance here does provide a limited amount of cover when outside Spain anyway, but I certainly wouldn't rely on it if I were to visit the USA!

Am I wrong?
You are entitled to a EHIC as a British citizen (even though a Spanish resident) whether you you pay into the social security system or not!
You can apply for one online, though last year when we renewed ours we had to write/call them as they had not updated the information online at that time.

You will still need travel insurance as the EHIC only covers emergency treatment.

Last edited by megmet; Mar 26th 2011 at 5:51 pm.
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

My understanding is that to be eligible for a UK EHIC card you need to have an E121 that is issued to those of pensionable age/in receipt of a UK State Pension (there are a few exceptions to this rule)

That being the case those who have a Spanish Health Card would need a Spanish issued EHIC card (like me)
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Old Mar 26th 2011, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: A Spanish Health Card (or maybe not ?)

Originally Posted by lynnxa View Post
judging by the posters in our local medical centre, yes they do

'desplazados' - anyone not from the region, not just us foreigners - have to go to a different window & get a temp SIP card in order to see a doctor

they are issued pretty much on the spot though

I'm not sure what happens if they go to the hospital in an emergency, though I would imagine they'd be dealt withwithout too much palaver
Thanks for that info.
So it seems that my understanding of the system is correct, what a strange way to carry on
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