health-uk-guiri

Where do you call home? Even those of us committed as lifelong Ibizans may make a slip of the tongue when referring to the UK or Ireland as ‘home’. Perhaps that will never go away, but as much as we may consider our place of birth as that we call home, the reality is that we have turned our back on it and so perhaps understandably it has turned its back on us, certainly as far as health care is concerned.

The UK tabloids present the NHS as something pretty well anybody can access, regardless of their nationality or previous contributions to the state that supports it, but an assumption based on this ’open to all’ impression, or one of it being your birthright, could prove a very costly mistake if you were to need healthcare in the UK and have not taken the necessary steps to access medical services.

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A Place Called Home?   Accessing NHS services as a British Expat

To this end the Department of Health have reissued instructions on what you need and how to get it. After all, you’re Johnny Foreigner now.

“Like many expats in Spain at some point you will be returning home for a holiday. Hopefully when the times comes, you will have thought about how you will be covered for healthcare while back in the UK. It’s not as straightforward as it may have been in the past and there are new procedures to follow. If you are confused and not exactly clear on how you would access the NHS, please read on! We have divided the information by social security status (e.g. state pensioner, worker etc) and how you are accessing public healthcare in Spain. So please read below and look for which numbered group best fits your personal situation.

If you have any questions about the information below, please feel free to contact our team

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A Place Called Home?   Accessing NHS services as a British Expat

athealthcare.spain@fco.gov.uk

The Healthcare Team”

1) State Pensioners with a UK issued S1 form OR Posted workers from UK to Spain (you may have an S1 form issued by HMRC or using a UK issued EHIC in Spain):

  • What kind of cover do you get?

You have the right not to be charged for the secondary care and will need to access healthcare on the same basis as a UK resident. Primary care is free at the point of use. It’s up to GPs surgery whether they will accept patients from abroad.

  • What this means:

If the local surgery accepts, you can see a GP. If you do need to see a specialist you will need a referral from the GP. You will only be charged for treatment if UK residents would be charged for the same treatment.

You will also pay for prescriptions on the same basis as a UK resident. If exemptions apply to paying for residents, they will apply to you too. This means that state pensioners will not pay for prescriptions while in the UK.

Please note that Primary care is usually NHS GP offices and some Walk-in-Clinics (depending on the set up), as well as some dentist and ophthalmology services. Secondary care is everything else, including A&E and hospital treatments.

What you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

  • State Pensioners will need to:

ask reception or the billing department to call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999 to verify that you do have a registered S1 in Spain. Please have your national insurance number at hand.

  • Posted workers will need to provide:

NHS number OR

ask reception or the billing department to call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999 to verify that you do have a registered S1 in Spain. Please have your national insurance number at hand.

2) Worker in Spain contributing to Spanish social security or in receipt of Spanish state pension or benefit:

  • What kind of cover do you get?

You are covered on a Spain issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or tarjeta sanitaria europea. This means you are covered for any state-provided medically necessary care that cannot wait until your planned date of return to Spain.

You will pay for prescriptions on the same basis as a UK resident. If exemptions apply to paying for residents, they will apply to you too.

  • What you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

Spain issued EHIC

3) Accessing healthcare in Spain as “limite de rentas”:

  • What kind of cover do you get?

You are covered on a Spain issued Certificado Provisional Sustitorio (CPS), which is like a temporary EHIC. This means you are covered for any state-provided medically necessary care that cannot wait until your planned date of return to Spain

You will pay for prescriptions on the same basis as a UK resident. If exemptions apply to paying for residents, they will apply to you too.

  • What you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

Spain issued CPS (you will need to apply for this every time you decide to travel within EEA countries)

4) Early Retiree (covered by private healthcare or convenio especial):

  • What kind of cover do you need?

Private travel insurance or you can choose to pay for any NHS services you use

You will pay 100% for prescriptions or whatever your insurance covers

  • What you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

You will need to show your insurance policy or pay upfront.

More information at

http://healthcareinspain.eu/

More Ibizan Guiri Guides at

http://bit.ly/ibizanguiriguides