When plannin, g a trip to Spain, either on holiday or moving there permanently, there are so many things to plan and take into consideration. Something that is often overlooked in all the preparations is what will happen if either you or a member of your family is taken ill or has an accident. But forgetting to take care of such an important aspect can result in heartache and expense.
If you normally live in the UK and are here on holiday, you should obtain a European Health Insurance card in the UK. This has replaced the old E111. It enables you to receive emergency treatment from The Spanish National Health Service. The cost of the treatment will then be charged to the UK NHS.
Those who are in Spain longer term are not entitled to the EHIC. You must either register with the Spanish Social Security system (if you are working) or apply for the E121, which you can get if you are receiving a state pension or disability pension only.
If you are not entitled to free care, private health insurance is essential. Without it you could be facing potentially crippling bills. As, clearly, any insurer will not insure you for an illness you already have, you must act whilst you are healthy. Another factor to consider is the language. Even those who are entitled to free treatment often opt for private health insurance so they can ensure they will have access to English speaking doctors.
BUPA have plans specifically aimed at the needs of expatriates.