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How to get a Spanish Health Card PDF
Saturday, 16 October 2010 00:00

One issue that concerns many of us who have moved to live in Spain from the European Union is health care. It can be very confusing, with conflicting advice on websites, forums and even from health and social security officials.

So how do you get a tarjeta sanitaria?

If you are in receipt of a state pension from your home country within the EU, all you have to do is fill in a E121 form and register it with the Spanish authorities.

But what if you are younger than state pension age?

Well, I got the definitive answer this week when I was at the Tesorería Nacional helping a non-Spanish-speaking friend to get her número de seguridad social, or social security number, so that she can get a Spanish health card, and the nice man explained it all very clearly, as follows. 

There are three ways of getting a health card in Spain:

  1. By paying into the system via seguridad social ie if you are working here.
  2. Through a family member who already has a card, eg wife/husband or pareja sentimental, ie common-law spouse/live-in partner.
  3. By being unemployed and having no income.

Other than that you would need to arrange private health care, which I hope to write about on another occasion.

©  Paul Whitelock

See also:

A1 SpanishLife: Health

Tags: European Union, health care, state pension, E121 form, Paul Whitelock, tarjeta sanitaria, Tesorería Nacional, número de seguridad social, social security number, Spanish health card, health card, pareja sentimental,  seguridad social, private health care,



0 #3 2012-06-22 07:32
were do l get E121 been to sequridad soocial with S1 got my zip card from my doctors when l mentioned S2 they seemed confused uk said they would send me my E121 are they wrong?
0 #2 2010-10-17 17:38
Quite right, Karl. Thanks, I've now included that in the original article.
+3 #1 2010-10-16 18:34
Or a UK pensioner living in Spain who has registered their E121 form with the Spanish authorities?

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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