A new website that explains how British citizens should use their UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) has been launched as part of a campaign to clear up common confusion over how to obtain healthcare in Spain.

The website www.healthcareinspain.eu provides comprehensive information on the use of EHICs, whether visiting or living in Spain.

What you should know about the European Health Insurance Card

A UK-issued European Health Insurance Card should only be used to access medically-necessary state treatment during the course of a temporary stay in Spain. It does not provide access to all state treatment but for those in Spain on a temporary stay, it is the correct way to access state healthcare.

British citizens who live mainly in Spain should change the way they are registered, because for them the UK European Health Insurance Card is not the correct form of health cover. The new website www.healthcareinspain.eu provides an interactive questionnaire that, depending on personal circumstances, links British residents to the Spanish social security webpage or a search page for the local INSS office or local health centre.

David Pennington, Head of the Department of Health’s International Healthcare team, says:

“Many British citizens living in Spain are confused about how to access state healthcare and many use their EHIC cards when they should be accessing healthcare in another way.

“This website is part of a campaign to explain who can use a UK-issued EHIC and what it’s for. It also helps people to find out about other ways to access state healthcare in Spain, depending on their circumstances.”

The website www.healthcareinspain.eu is part of an EU-funded campaign by the UK Department of Health and Valencia Health Authority that aims to raise awareness of the correct use of EHICs among Britons visiting and living in the Valencia region. The information on the website is also relevant to British citizens across the whole of Spain, including the mainland and islands.