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Free Healthcare for all in Spain

Posted on 20 December, 2018 at 5:40

Free Healthcare for all in Spain

Since the Decree was issued we have spoken to 100's of customers who have tried and failed

Within the last 6 months we have spoken to many people who have tried to obtain the Free Spanish Healthcare and been turned away. Some have tried several times and others have employed lawyers or Spanish gestors to assist in the process.

This week we sold a medical insurance policy to a customer in Almeria a registered resident of Spain who was convinced that in Almeria there would not be an issue. However, he tells us that he made three attempts spending several days going from office to office to no avail. Finally he went to a Spanish law firm and asked them to assist. They wrote letters, attended meetings, yet 1200€ in fees later, the lawyer informed him that he would not be entitled in the near future. The explanation was that the Provincial Health Authority whilst knowing that the Decree was in place insisted that there was a higher law relating to Spain’s Social Security requirements and regulations which meant that they were only obliged to offer Free Healthcare to Pensioners, Disabled, Homeless, Destitute and illegal immigrants with no home.

This client aged 53 finally took out Private Medical Insurance for 43,99€ per month

Another client tells us that having received approval at their local village medical centre, they then had cause to go to a Spanish State hospital on an Emergency resulting in a 10 day stay. At the end of that stay he was given a payment demand for 8.500,00€. The hospital informed him that the medical centre had been incorrect in accepting his application as he had no S1 (S1 reciprocal medical care arrangement between governments) and was not paying social security in Spain. The medical centre had accepted him on basis of an EHIC card which is of course a temporary travel emergency medcial card for 90 days. The Spanish authorities checked and established this person had lived in Spain for 4 years therefore could not claim on the EHIC card either.

Each week we speak to people who share the same experiences of being refused, yet on Social Media when Private Healthcare is mentioned a string of posts appear telling people not to pay for healthcare because it is free. The majority who make these claims are pensioners on the S1 who are entitled to reciprocal medical care and are simply repeating what they have read without experiencing the reality. Slowly for most, the realization is dawning that the promised free healthcare is not going to be available to all any time soon and people must not take a chance with their health.

On Facebook in recent weeks I have challenged 2 people claiming they have the free Spanish State Healthcare yet when challenged it turns out they have been living in Spain dependent on the EHIC card for medical attention. Both admitted they were never aware that the EHIC is only for emergency temporary medical assistance ending 90 days after you arrive in Spain. Interestingly both ladies believed their husbands, who insisted to each of them that they did not need medical insurance as they were fully covered with a European Health Card. These days if you attend a Hospital and produce an EHIC for costly medical attention the Health Authority will require evidence of your arrival date and if you are getting treatment beyond the 90 days of arriving, they now raise an invoice.

A friend of mine on a 3 month caravan trip to Alicante collapsed 2 years ago and went to the State Hospital with his EHIC card. He was in a coma for 10 days and they found a tumour on his brain. At the time he was admitted, he had been in Spain for 60 days. The care he received was wonderful but when he reached his 90 days in Spain he was advised ongoing care would be at his cost. He stayed another 10 days until he was well enough for a car journey home. The 10 days cost 5.600,00€ Unfortunately my friend passed away 6 months later. This is a good example of how the EHIC works for genuine holiday makers and will not work for long term dwellers in Spain

In Spain you can arrange some very low cost health insurance by volunteering to pay a small excess each time you visit a Doctor or Specialist so for example a 60 year old can have a very comprehensive policy for as little as 48€ per month

Francis Payne

Tailor Made Healthcare Solutions Spain

The English Agency for Spanish Medical Insurance


(Healthcare Spain our advice is be sure dont gamble with your health or that of your nearest and dearest)

Categories: Spain, Healthcare, Expats

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