UK Warns On Healthcare Cover For Visitors To Spain

By Editorial 19 May, 2014

The Healthcare Team at the British Embassy in Madrid has produced a short video reminding visitors to Spain of the need for proper healthcare cover to avoid the risk of large medical bills.

The video, entitled "Using your EHIC in Spain," aims to help visitors and their expatriate hosts understand the importance of taking a European Health Insurance Card and also of arranging private travel insurance. The EHIC, which is free to those living in the UK, covers emergency treatment in public hospitals, but not costs incurred at private hospitals or from the use of facilities such as air ambulances.

Explaining the video, the Embassy highlighted the case of a British traveller who was taken by ambulance to hospital after becoming dizzy. Unknown to him, it was a private hospital, and after staying overnight he was landed with a bill for EUR1,923 (USD2,638).

In other incidents, unwell travellers at public hospitals who had forgotten to bring an EHIC had to apply for a temporary replacement, creating extra worry and stress at a time of illness. In 2013, over 2,000 British holidaymakers had to apply for a temporary EHIC.

However, the EHIC is designed for temporary visitors, and expats living permanently in Spain are advised to register for Spanish social security cover.

Tags: Insurance | United Kingdom | Spain | Expats | Health Insurance | Healthcare | Europe | Healthcare |


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