New Law on Free Healthcare in Alicante Spain


Posted and filed under Medical Care in Spain.

One of the most useful pages in Spain is the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Spain, as they keep up to date on many changes.

A new Healthcare law has just been published (Monday June 30, 2018) which we have not studied in Spanish Solutions but apparently´re-establishes´ the right to free healthcare for all residents in Spain.

The first provision relates to those who have subscribed to the “Convenio Especial” or voluntary payments because they were not entitled to free healthcare in other ways, such as through being employed, being self-employed or being in receipt of old age pensions.

The CAB advise that there is a statement that the healthcare cover under the Convenio Especial will last till the end of the month in which this Decree has been published, so 31st July 2018. There is no mention of what happens afterwards.

The CAB recommend that all those who currently pay the convenio especial or voluntary payment should   make an appointment with the local INSS (Social Security) as soon as possible for clarification.

If there is a contact number on the contract signed when joining the convenio, you could try to call that to verify as well.

This is their post on the topic


Please note if you are not subscribing to the Convenio Especial, there is no need to do anything for now, as there is no further news yet on those who are paying private health care etc.

And this link is the updates on the above topic

This is too complex a matter for us to follow and advise, but the articles in the above links are very useful and this summary from the CAB will help give hope to many:-

“Note* We enderstand that it is not easy for members to plough through the articles. Basically all residents have always been entitled to healthcare if not insured due to employment or S1. This is a modification for those irregulars. We think that with this royal decree, the INSS offices may find it difficult to continue with their internal agreements of denying healthcare to those post April 2012 residents.”

In essence, it looks hopeful that before long it may be possible for Residents of Spain to access healthcare free of charge without the current problem of pre-retirees having to pay private health care etc etc, but this is not published yet.

We advise that you follow the updates on the CAB page  ( and their page on facebook for further news (Citizens Advice Bureau Spain).



  • Margaret Marshall

    We live six month in Isle of Man . Six months in Spain. We have got residency and pay Spanish tax . We have private health cover. Are we entitled to free basic health cover whilst in Spain . I am 75

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Margaret,

      When you are retired and from the UK you can access free medical cover by obtaining your S1 certificate but as you are from the Isle of Man this may be different.

      We have passed your enquiry to Yan, Yan deals with these matters and will be in contact with you shortly. in the meantime should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind regards

  • David Manning

    When I came to Spain five years ago I joined the Conveinio Especial scheme. However I still had to pay for my prescriptions which I had received free for several years in the uk as I am diabetic and epileptic.
    On a visit to the doctor he gave me a prescription and I made a comment as to the cost 160€ and as an early retiree on a small pension I was finding it difficult to manage to cover this cost.

    The doctor arranged for me to see a lady from social security and from then on my prescription was only 10% I believe this coincided with the healthcare available to all becoming available by Royal decree.

    This system has worked fine until the beginning of July this year when I became 65.

    Now I am told that I am no longer in the Spanish healthcare system.

    Social security said I must produce an S1 as I am now a pension. The U.K. Have said I am not entitled to an S1 until I receive my state pension in March next year.

    My ethic card has expired and I am told that I can not renew that. I have a letter that I was told to present to social security here in Spain saying I was not entitled to uk health care.

    I have been told today that the Conveinio Especial has been suspended as access to health care by Royal decree. And I am left without any health care at all.

    I cannot afford medical insurance and to pay the full price of my prescription. I am also now waiting for a procedure on my left eye which I am loosing my sight in and I won’t be able to pay for that operation.

    I am just rather desperate and at a loss as to what I can do have you any suggestions please

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning David,

      We understand your frustration.

      we would suggest you visit the Social Security Office with the letter from the UK, confirming you are not entitled to any medical cover from the UK. We hope you get this matter sorted quickly, if we can be of any further help please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind regards

  • amie

    please can u tell me if I can avail of free health care in spain if I buy a property and apply for residency I am currently on invalidity pension a exportable payment and so is my partner . I currently hold a medical card but I may not be eligible for medical card in Ireland should I get married . so basically is our invalidity pensions enough to qualify for free health care in spain it is my dream to move to spain but I def cant afford health care. im told if I fill out an e121 form that I will qualify however I see on the form its asking for medical expiry date so im confused medical card expirary date and start date. why is this needed

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Amie,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Exciting times ahead, where in Spain are you planning on purchasing your property.

      To receive free health cover in Spain you need to have the E121 or be working and paying into the Spanish system. Purchasing a property and being resident wont be enough, we are sorry.

      In regard to the start and expiry date on the form, it would be best to contact the relevant department responsible for the E121, they will be able to advise you correctly and this will ensure you fill out the form correctly.

      Should you need any assistance in finding your dream Spanish property or residencia, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to help.

      Kind regards

  • Gabriele Stoyan

    Is this website only for UK citizens or also for germans? If not for germans do you know of any website where i can get advise for healthcare? I‘m living in Spain, Canaries, since many years, although not as a resident because of no income and missing health insurance. I definitely need a medical treatment. I have a NIE Nr., an empadronamiento and i‘m desempleada. Thank you for your kind support!

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Gabriele,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      No, we cater for all nationalities.

      In this case you would have to contact Germany and ask if they can cover you for the medical treatment as we are assuming you have been paying your taxes there in previous years. If not it would be the country where you previously stayed and paid taxes.

      We hope this helps and that you make a speedy recovery.
      Kind regards

  • Lucy Fallon

    My partner and I are both British. He is working in Spain with a contract and has social security. If we register as a “pareja de hecho”, will I have access to public health care as a dependent spouse?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Lucy,

      Yes, that is correct. When you have applied for Pareja De Hecho and have the relevant documentation, you would then visit the Social Security to register as your partners dependant. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • vivien gill

    I have residency in Spain since 2017. I am under retirement age. Can I access national free health care. Or, if I have to get Convenio Especial, how much would this cost and is there a set limit of years you have to pay into this before you can obtain free health care as I retire with a pension in 2022 and assume I can then register with an S1 (or is this also about the change) Many thanks

    • Ian C.

      Hi Vivien
      Yes you can access health care immediately after registering for Convenio Especial. The cost is 65 euros per month if below 65 years of age and 150 euros per month for over 65.

  • Cassandra

    Perhaps the monthly subscription varies by region? In Murcia the fees are 60 euros until 65 years and 157 euros over 65.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Cassandra, Yes, they do. Thank you

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