spanish health care

Hola all.can anyone tell us how we cover ourselves for health care in spain. We are moving to mazaron and having asked around about registering with a GP and accessing health care we get lots of different advice and some say we need redidencia? Others say need to be retirement age? We are in our mid fifties. Does an E111 cover us?  Any advice welcomed and thankyou so much in advance

Thankyou for your reply

Hi, You may find my blog helpful on health care in Spain. As stated by bjsmyth the E111/EHIC card is only for temporary visits in Spain to cover emergencies and as you are both in mid-fifties  not in receipt of pension you will require private medicial insurance, unless you are going to be working and contributining into the Spanish system. Hope this helps.

My wife and I are both over 65 and are hoping to rent long term in Alicante.  We are both in receipt of UK pensions.  Any ideas on accessing Spanish healthcare.  Worried about how Brexits affects us but we will now be travelling on Irish passports.  Don't mind paying if not too much.  Thanks in advance.  Patrick

Many thanks very helpful

The ideal mix is private health cover, as well as Spanish NHS, which offers the best security of cover. Most Spanish regions offer NHS cover for expats at around 60 euros per month. No, the E111 is not designed to cover you as an expat.

Thanks appreciated


This issue annoys me since it appears to be a well kept secret. Although I am not against private health insurance, there is a lot of money involved in premiums and commissions paid to banks, furniture stores etc to promote specific insurance brands, when a cheaper and probably more appropriate alternative is available from the Spanish NHS, which is superior in many respects. Have a look at this:

Purchasing public health insurance
If you are not covered for state-run healthcare through any other means, the Spanish regional health authorities offer a special pay-in scheme (convenio especial). This is a public health insurance scheme available nation-wide where you pay a monthly fee to access state-run healthcare. The scheme is managed by each autonomous region.
Policy holders pay on an individual basis for access to public healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions, anywhere in Spain. Children do not have to join the Convenio Especial as they are protected under Spanish law and can access state healthcare for free.
The basic monthly fee is 60€ for the under 65s and 157€ for those aged 65 and above. However, prescriptions are not subsidised at this rate so you would pay 100% of prescription costs. This form of cover doesn’t give holders the right to an EHIC at this time, so if you wish to travel, you will need to take out private travel insurance. The scheme is now available in:
    •    Andalucía (No link available yet.Please enquire directly at your nearest local health centre).
    •    Baleares (No link available yet. Please enquire directly at the following Points of contact in Baleares (PDF, 181KB, 1 page) .
    •    Canarias
    •    Castilla y León
    •    Galicia
    •    Madrid
    •    Murcia
    •    Valencia
Updates for the other regions will be provided as and when the schemes are launched.

Hi Patrick

If you are in receipt of a UK old age state pension or long term sickness benefit, obtain an S1 form (previously E121) from the International Pension Centre on +44 191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with your local Spanish INSS office, before you register with your local GP surgery and obtain a medical card.

Further information can be found on this  link

Hi VickiC

Many thanks for this information.  Patrick

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