For all people who travel through Europe for work, study or vacation and tourism reasons, it will always be advisable to carry the European Health Card with them, in order to be covered at a medical level in Europe.
What is the European health card?
The European health card is a document, like the one we have at the national level (in Spain) of the non-transferable and personal type, where it will accredit us throughout the European area, the health care we need in any country throughout the territory of the European Union.
This health care will only be accredited when we are in that country for work, study, or tourism. Health care will not be recognized when we travel expressly to have a doctor visit us.
How to obtain the European health card in Spain?
In order to apply for the card, we can do so through three ways, from the offices of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), by Internet or by telephone.
Apply for a European Health Card from the Social Security Offices
If it is the first time that you are going to apply for the European health card, you will have to do it obligatorily through the offices of your local Social Security. It does not matter that you are collecting unemployment, or that you are working on your own, it does not matter if you are collecting any financial aid such as a contributory pension.
Apply for European Health Card by INTERNET
If you want to renew your European health card or it has been lost or misplaced and you want to request another, you will
- Sede Electrónica de la Seguridad Social.
- Once inside, you will have to click in the area on the left in”Acceso al servicio“
Now you just have to fill in the form with all your personal data, and then in 10 days you will receive the physical card at your home address. If you are urgent and 10 days are not enough because you have to leave before, you can download a Provisional and accrediting Certificate with full validity.
Apply for a European Health Card by PHONE
Another interesting option is to request the card by phone, not everyone can request it through this method, but you can try and see if it is possible in your case. To do this, you have to call the Social Security customer service number:
The hours of attention to the public by phone is from 9 in the morning to 20:00 in the afternoon. Be patient if you communicate or do not respond to the first, this telephone service is usually saturated.
Countries that include the European health card
To begin with, we have all the Countries of the European Union, in addition to the European Economic Area, and that of the Countries of the European Free Trade Association.
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
How long is the card valid for?
As a general rule, the duration and validity of the Card will always be 2 years from when it was requested until its expiration. Regardless of the country that we go for work, study or tourism reasons.
On the other hand, the validity of the card will ALWAYS be conditional on you meeting the requirements. Therefore, as long as you have Social Security coverage in Spain, you will have the right.