Good news! The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is being replaced with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This means that Brits travelling to Spain, and indeed all EU countries, will still be able to receive free, or cheaper, state-provided medical care.
Don’t worry though, your EHIC will remain valid until it expires. Then, you can apply for the new free GHIC.
This will likely come as a relief for Spanish holiday home owners, holidaymakers, or older travellers, who have been worrying about having to pay for expensive medical care in Spain after Brexit.
The GHIC will entitle you to basic state healthcare, on the same level as Spanish citizens. It will cover things like emergency treatment and A&E trips, treatment for chronic or pre-existing medical conditions, routine medical or maternity care, and oxygen and kidney dialysis.
Nevertheless, it is important to be aware that you may still have to pay for things in the EU that you would usually get for free in the UK. In Spain, this includes paying something towards prescriptions.
The British Government still advises Brits to take out travel insurance that includes healthcare. The GHIC will not cover you for private medical healthcare or other costs, such as mountain rescue or repatriation.
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Brits who have been a resident in Spain for five or more years and have applied for permanent residency, will automatically have access to state healthcare.
If you are a retiree – with Spanish residency – who receives a UK State pension, then you can access UK-funded healthcare using an S1 form.