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Your Healthcare - Frequent visitors and second home owners

Updated: Feb 29

Who is this guide for? 

This guide gives an overview of options for healthcare for English speakers who are regular visitors to Spain, such as second home owners. The guide is primarily aimed at UK citizens who visit Spain but much of the information will be equally applicable to people of other nationalities who visit here. The following information will help you understand what you need to do to make sure you have access to the healthcare that best suits you and which meets other requirements. This overview document is supported by more detailed resources available on this website.


Healthcare options for regular visitors to Spain 

Here are the various options you have regarding access to medical cover. Basically, there are three options for UK and other nationals:

Using a GHIC or an EHIC card in Spain

Access to emergency public healthcare using a GHIC or EHIC card (for UK and EU nationals). Many tourists to Spain acquire a Global or European health insurance card which will allow them to access free emergency medical care in public healthcare facilities whilst in Spain. 

The advantage is that the public health system in Spain is available in all areas of the country. 

The disadvantage is that you cannot choose your doctor or hospital and they may not have English speaking staff to help you.

Travel insurance

Private Spanish health insurance


A word about EHIC and GHIC cards 

UK nationals who visit Spain for a short stay as a tourist are able to use either the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to access Spanish state healthcare in emergencies. NB EHIC cards that are in date are still valid but, following the UK’s exit from the EU, are being replaced by the GHIC card. However, neither the EHIC or GHIC cards are ways in which people who are resident in Spain can access state services. The only exceptions are for students who are temporarily studying in Spain or for some posted workers. As a resident in Spain you may be eligible for an EHIC card issued by the Spanish authorities which will cover access to emergency healthcare when visiting other European countries or the UK. 


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The content displayed on this blog is the intellectual property of Age in Spain. You may not reuse, republish, or reprint such content without our written consent. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information on this blog, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this blog has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors. We reserve the right to change this policy at any given time, of which you will be promptly updated. If you want to make sure that you are up to date with the latest changes, we advise you to frequently visit our website disclaimer notice.

Age in Spain provides information about service providers for information only. This list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change at any time. None of the service providers are endorsed or recommended by Age in Spain. You should research whether a service provider will be suitable. Age in Spain does not accept any liability arising to any person for any loss or damage suffered through using these service providers or this information.

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