If you are registered to work in Spain and make national insurance contributions then you can get state-run health care on the same basis as a Spanish national. For further information, get in touch with your local Seguridad Social office.
If you registered as a resident in Spain before 24 April 2012, have an annual income of less than 100,000 and are not covered for healthcare though any other means, speak to your local INSS office to register for healthcare in Spain as a resident.
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 INSS office, before you register with your local GP surgery and obtain a medical card.
If you are an early retiree and have recently made national insurance contributions in the UK, contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to see if you have entitlement to a residual S1 form (previously E106) for a limited time. Once issued, register the S1 form with your local INSS office, before you register with your local GP surgery.
There will be an important change to this entitlement from 1 July 2014. If you are a worker seconded to Spain, or the family member of a someone making UK national insurance contributions, contact HMRC to see if you have entitlement to an S1 form (previously and E106 or E109). Once issued, register the S1 form with your local INSS office, before you register with your local GP surgery.
Purchasing public health insurance
If you are not covered for state-run healthcare through 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, including children, pay on an individual basis for access to public healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions, anywhere in Spain.
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 doesnt give holders the right to a Spanish EHIC at this time. In many cases private health insurance offers better value.