Healthcare in Spain is usually a top priority for people moving to this beautiful country. Whether moving for work, lifestyle or retirement, access to good healthcare is important. Healthcare is a top priority for the Spanish people, and the World Health Organization has rated Costa Blanca among the healthiest regions in the world to live. While doctors and hospitals may not be a top priority for tourists, it is nice to know that wherever you go there is access to top healthcare. Spanish state healthcare has a modern network of up-to-date medical facilities with a good reputation for first-rate care. Most medical facilities have English speaking staff to help people understand the language, and if there is no-one available they can provide an interpreter for a minimal cost. Because Spain has generous state healthcare benefits, it was recently changed so foreigners can only access it if they contribute to the system. However, healthcare is always available to children and pregnant women, and in the case of emergencies.
How do you fit into the Spanish healthcare system?
Whether you are eligible for access to the Spanish health system or not depends on several factors, and from which country you have come from.
Resident foreign Spanish retirees
English retirees receiving a pension or long-term sickness benefits can access Spain’s free healthcare, but need to fill in an S1 form and register with the local INSS (Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social) office. You will also need your passport, registration certificate and certificate of local residency. Once issued with clearance and accreditation, you can use the local health system. This type of registration allows UK migrants to return home to receive free healthcare, but they are subject to the rules of the UK healthcare system where people are expected to contribute.
Residents under 65 not contributing taxes
If you are under 65 and have retired early, or are just enjoying the amazing Spanish lifestyle, you are out of luck when it comes to free healthcare as you will have to contribute to the system in some way. You can either:
1.Join the health insurance scheme run by the state.
2.Take out private insurance in Spain.
Healthcare for foreign workers
Spain has become an attractive place for many families from around the world to move to find a better lifestyle. When you move to Spain for work and pay taxes, you and your family are entitled to access the Spain’s health care system as long as the family are all living under one roof.
Healthcare for European visitors
European Union residents taking advantage of the Spanish weather and lifestyle, can access Spain’s healthcare for the first three months of their stay as long as they can produce a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is not valid for foreigners who are Spanish residents, and only covers publicly funded health services, not private services, you need to seek treatment at a medical facility that accepts the EHIC.
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