Applying For The European
Health Insurance Card (EHIC) In Spain

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More than 10 percent of Spain’s Gross Domestic Product comes from its tourism industry. It boasts of having the world’s highest rating for travel and tourism competitiveness, buoyed in part by its superb levels of quality of life and rich cultural heritage. Every year, it plays host to close to 70 million tourists most of whom come from other EU nations. It’s got stunning beaches and summer resorts such as the Costa Brava and the Costa de Almeria.

Cultural and business tourism is also excellent especially in Madrid and Barcelona. It also has superb winter tourism with plenty of ski resorts lining the Pyrenees, the Sistema Iberico, the Sistema Central, and the Sierra Nevada. Spain also has exemplary rural and nature tourism as well as countless landmarks that venerate the nation’s rich legacy of the arts. Visiting Spain to enjoy these things and a whole lot more requires a passport and a European Health Insurance Card.

In case you’re wondering what the European Health Insurance Card is, if you can still recall the E111 Form that you used to bring with you every time you traveled overseas, this is its replacement. It has the same fundamental benefits but with several distinct advantages. It’s more convenient, more lightweight, and more versatile than its predecessor, the E111. With the EHIC, shorthand for the European Health Insurance Card, you can get the necessary treatment that you require for an illness or injury that may have occurred or developed while you were on a holiday or a business travel in Spain or any of the 27 other European Union countries or even those countries that are signatories to the European Free Trade Association like Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Iceland.

The idea of the EHIC is quite simple. Since you are a resident of a country that belongs to a single regional market – the European Economic Area – then you should also be entitled to the same treatments as the citizens of other countries receive from their respective governments. In like manner, if these citizens visit your country, they will also be entitled to the treatments that your government provides to each and every one of its citizens including you. The common denominator is the EHIC. You can look at the EHIC as your passport to public health services when you go overseas.

EHIC has quite a limited coverage since the arrangement is between and among governments. Therefore, what is only covered are treatments that are deemed necessary to prevent further complications and to help promote recovery. If the condition is deemed non-urgent, it cannot be treated under the EHIC program. Instead, it will be treated as non-essential. If you decide to go ahead with the treatment you will be treated more as a non-EHIC holder even though you have an EHIC.

In such cases, you will have to pay upfront rather exorbitant fees. You can later claim refunds for this from your private insurer but you have to secure all the necessary documents for it. This is also why it is highly recommended that you have a separate personal health care insurance as well as travel insurance because you will never know if the health condition that you have will be covered by EHIC or not.

If you’re worried about an existing disease as not being covered by EHIC, with the appropriate coordination and advanced planning, these can be covered. Also covered are routine or regular maternity care so long as these are not your primary reasons for going to Spain, otherwise, you will be denied coverage again.

It is also possible to purchase your prescription medications from a Spanish pharmacy that is classified and funded under the Spanish statewide health and social security system. You may need to obtain a Spanish-worded prescription from a government doctor to present to the pharmacist together with a valid ID with picture and your EHIC. If you are not yet retired or are still below the legal retirement age, you will have to shoulder 50 percent of the total cost of your medication prescription. If you are already a pensioner, you only pay 10 percent of the cost. This should offer you great savings which you can use for enjoying more of Spain.

Traveling to Spain? Get Your EHIC First

Spain clearly has a lot of wonderful things to share. To really relish these things you need to obtain your EHIC now. Let MyEHIC be your guide and your partner in making sure you are adequately protected as soon as you set your foot on Spanish soil.