CAB continues to advise Expats in Spain and visitors alike about the rights obligations when applying and Using a European Health card (EHIC) issued in your country for use in Spain. State pensioners aside, the EHIC is intended for use for temporary visits to Spain. Once citizens have acquired residency or residing in Spain as their habitual home, they should sign up for healthcare cover in Spain either under the Spanish NHS/Convenio Especial/Private.
The Universal Healthcare law of July 2018 (on hold) which allows for residency based healthcare, has seen an emergence of health centres registering residents applying for state healthcare by using the EHIC. The NHS n your home country would have the right to claim full costs for those misusing the card. The Spanish NHS does not take this into consideration and are happy to see patients home countries pay the bill.
Don’t take it from us, here is a quote on the misuse of the EHIC from the UK NHS EHIC application site.
“Important: If your circumstances change, you may lose your entitlement to a UK-issued EHIC. If you then use your EHIC abroad, you may be liable for the full cost of treatment received. You may lose your entitlement to a UK-issued EHIC when you move abroad, take up work abroad, or change your residency status”.
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