EU Citizens travelling within the EU: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid for temporary visitors to another EU country without it you may be charged for your treatment.
The application should be made before travelling and it is usually valid for three to five years. If you stop being a UK resident, you need to return your EHIC to the Department of Health.
As a UK state pensioner living in Spain and registered for healthcare with an S1, the UK will issue your EHIC to use on a temporary stay in the UK and a third EU country. For more information call the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999.
If you work in Spain and pay social security there, you will get the Spanish health card from the local social security office.
The EHIC gives you access to temporary medical health care provided by the state under the same conditions as a national of that country. Be aware that each countrys healthcare system is different. Free services at home might not be free in Spain (i.e.: prescriptions).
The EHIC does not give you access to private healthcare and you will be expected to pay at the time of such treatment. So, the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare neither does it cover costs such as a return flight or lost/stolen property.
Cover from other sources: If you have private insurance in your home country, check your policy to see if it offers cover whilst temporarily abroad. For example Sanitas offers 10,000 health cover per trip abroad, so check the limits of your cover and any restrictions. Also check for any geographic limits, some insurers may not cover you outside Europe, while others like for example Bupa International, only cover you in the US if you have specifically purchased that cover.
Some credit card companies and banks offer their customers travel insurance as part of the deal, but check the terms and make sure they meet your needs.
Most policies are reasonably priced and give peace of mind however it is important to choose one that meets your needs. Here are some facts to consider.
STM Nummos Life SL is able to arrange travel cover through ihiBupa. Please contact us if you are interested. Enjoy a safe and healthy trip!