The UK leaving the European Union has left many people worrying about the costs of healthcare in Spain. Will my EHIC still be valid? How much will I have to pay for emergency medical care now? We answer your questions here.


Thankfully, as part of the UK and EU deal, the EHIC is being replaced with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Don’t worry though, you can continue to use your EHIC until it expires. Then, you can apply for a free GHIC.

What does the GHIC cover?

You will be entitled to basic state-provided medical care, on the same grounds as Spanish citizens. You will be covered for emergency treatment, chronic or pre-existing medical conditions, routine medical or maternity care, and dialysis. This will be the same when traveling to all EU countries.

What doesn’t the GHIC cover?

The GHIC will not cover things like private medical care, repatriation, rescues (such as mountain rescue when skiing), or if you are travelling to Spain exclusively for treatment. Therefore, it is important to still take out travel insurance when you travel to Spain. You will have to pay for healthcare that Spanish citizens also pay for, such as prescriptions.

Permanent residents

If you live in your Spanish property permanently – or are planning to in the future – your GHIC will not cover you. If you have Spanish residency, you will automatically have access to state healthcare. To register for state healthcare you will first need a Spanish social security number.  If you don’t have residency, you will need to take out private healthcare insurance.


If you would like further advice on the selling process in Spain,   download your free Spain Guide.

Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday in Spain by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to   Buying Abroad with Family

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