How to apply for a European Health Card in Spain


Posted and filed under Medical Care in Spain.

The “Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea” is the Spanish equivalent of the European Health Insurance Card
If you are resident in Spain, have a Spanish social security number and you are actively paying your contributions into the Spanish Social Security system, you should apply for the Spanish equivalent of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is the Tarjeta Sanitario Europea (TSE).
If you are traveling back to the UK, or to any other European country, on holiday, on business or to visit family and friends and require medical assistance, presentation of this will entitle you to receive medical assistance, free of charge.
You can apply for the card online , or alternatively visit your nearest social security office, presenting your Spanish Tarjeta Sanitaria (SIP card) and passport and they should issue you a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea.

Being a British passport holder no longer entitles you to free healthcare in the UK. Failure to present your European Health Insurance Card may result in you receiving a bill for any medical treatment received.

BUT PLEASE NOTE: UK Pensioners living in Spain, in receipt of a UK pension, need not apply for the Spanish Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea. As quoted by the British Embassy “Since 1st May 2010, the UK is responsible for issuing the EHIC to UK pensioners resident in other EU countries.” Irish pensioners will need to check with the Irish Embassy.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are issued by The Pension Service in Newcastle upon Tyne to all UK expats in receipt of a UK pension.

There is, however, an exception to this:
If you are in receipt of a UK pension and are actively working in Spain (ie. contributing into the Spanish Social Security system), you will need to apply for the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea.

IMPORTANT : When ordering this card online, if the address you enter on the application link for the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) is not the same as the address you have registered with Social Security then your application will not be processed.
Please be advised that entering an old address will result in the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) being posted to that old address.
If your details are accurate with the Spanish social security office, it is generally quicker to go online for the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) as some offices require pre booked appointments.
Good luck, or do ask us if we can help!


  • lisa blackford

    My mum needs to renew her ehic card ,she lives in spain but has no acess to a p.c ,how can i apply for her ,or is there a number or address she can write to

    • Ian C.

      Hello Lisa,

      thanks to contact us.

      To answer your question properly we need more information about your mother. We will send you and email shortly.

      Kind regards

      Spanish Solutions

  • Lynda Snelgrove

    How can I renew my expired EHIC card. I am resident In Receipt of Uk pension

    • Ian C.

      Hello Lynda
      You need to do this through the NHS.
      Let us know if we can help.
      Kind wishes,

  • Mrs Bosowitz

    Do you know if there is a fee for applying for the TSE either online or in person and if so how much is it?

    • Jane McGuire


      The cost is 12 euros, you need to attend the appointment in person. We can assist with process should you wish.

      Kind Regards


  • Jon Mitchell

    Can I get a Spanish medical card, using a S1 form, I receive a uk pension, do I have to be a resident

    • Ian C.

      Hello Jon,
      Yes you need your padron and residencia in Spain before getting the Spanish medical care.
      We can of course assist you with this matter, regards, ian

  • dave masoon

    European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
    We are residents in Spain. Because we are early retired both of us 59 years old no pensions, we pay into the Convienio Especial at 60 euros each a month. We would like to no if we are entitled to the Spanish equivalent of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is the Tarjeta Sanitario Europea (TSE).
    Reply we got back from Spain’s health authorities :
    In answer to your question I inform policyholders of Convienio Especial, they do not contribute to the Spanish Social Security is a form entitling them to health care throughout the national territory, but does not entitle them to the European Health Insurance Card that is only for those people who are registered with the Social Security and trading, in fact the Agency that handles is the INSS (National Institute of Social Security). We would be very grateful for any information on this matter of how to apply for European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

    • Jane

      Hi Dave
      We believe your Convienio Especial will only cover for Spain and you will require travel insurance for travel outwith.

      Kind Regards


  • Arthur Ian Brown

    Because of all the problems U.K.expats. have been having with their flights going back and fo. We recently asked for assistance from a small firm in Los Montesinos We required the SANATERIA TARJETA EUROPEA card. The cost for two cards is 120 Euro. They last for two years. We have the British medical card. The British card was posted to our address and was free. We are both residents 20 years in Spain, pentionistas hoping to to get back to our families pretty soon. Question…What do the Spanish Government charge for the health card? Arthur Quesada

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Arthur,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      My colleague Tracie has replied to your email enquiry.

      Kind regards

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