European Health Cards

6 Replies



We live in spain full time. We are registered with the spanish health authorities. We are pensioners receiving a british pension. We have been in possesion of a british  e.h.i.c.  Card, (european health insurance card) which we thought would entitle us to use the health services in any other e.u. Country. The card is due for renewal and we find that we have to apply as u.k. Residents. Can anyone enlighten us as to how we go about renewing this card, applying for a spanish one, or whatever, planned trips are to u.k. But driving through france etc. Thankyou. Brian williamson.


sueandterry-465580 1424715277

Yes, the EHIC does cover you for travelling to other countries apart from Spain. You even have to use it when you go to England,  when I became a pensioner they sent me a form to complete, then I had to send my old card in, and they sent another.. which actually looked identical to the other one... I think you can apply online for a new form which will be necessary to get your new card sent to your Spanish address.. ?  Good luck.


BRINOR 1424721215

Hi Sue, Thankyou for your reply. I wonder when you actually renewed your EHIC card ?. The reason I ask is that I went onto UK/Gov. to download the form and apply for renewal to my present card. I read on there that anyone who lives outside the UK on a permanent basis, this means anyone staying in another country and not the UK for more than 3 months, should actually inform the NHS and return the EHIC card !. It said this law was changed in 2014.

I answered the questions on the form honestly and was given the information that I was not eligble for a UK issued card !.. No information was given as to what I should do to obtain an EHIC.

I wonder if I read it incorrectly and what others had done since 2014 ?.

Again thank you for the reply. Brian W.

Bill 1424770941

It is important to note that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not a UK card but a card issued in Europe to residents so that they may get reciprocal medical cover when they travel abroad.

If you are registered for social security in Spain you need to apply to the Spanish authoriites for an EHIC card to travel abroad. If you are covered by social security in the UK you apply to the UK authorities.

The AngloINFO Information page explains this in detail here:

"...European residents who are covered by a social security scheme in their country of residence are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card simplifies the procedure when receiving unforeseen medical assistance during their visit to a member state. It should be carried when travelling within the European Economic Area, (i.e. the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland. Each person travelling should have their own card.

The EHIC entitles the holder to the same treatment at the same cost as a national of that country. For example, if medical care is provided free of charge in the member state where treatment is required, the claimant will be entitled to free medical care on presentation of the card or an equivalent document..."

leggy-472225 1424808253

I have recently renewed an EHIC card.

You need to phone 0044191 218 1999, and press Option 1.   Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.

 The Operator will ask you a few questions and will tell you that a form will be posted here to Spain.

 The delivery of my form took almost 3 weeks to arrive!  Complete the form and return it in the envelope provided.  It was a simple procedure.


BRINOR 1424808398

Gracias. Seems to be some confusion but as you have just renewed yours that is the most up to date information we have. Thankyou again. Brian W. 

sueandterry-465580 1425318556

I was sent the form by the UK government last year when I became entitled to my Pension... don´t think they have changed anything ?  they know that I live in Spain and that I am on the Health register... so don´t know... 

Join the discussion