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!