British nationals in Spain have been advised to apply for a new EHIC travel card which will cover them from January 2021.
From January, the old EHIC cards will no longer be valid. This means that if you are currently a pensioner and holder of an S1 form, a student studying in Spain, or a frontier worker, you will need to re-apply.
The new EHIC will be valid once the transition period comes to an end on December 31, however, it is important to understand that the new EHIC isn’t available to everyone.
For most people, EHIC will no longer be valid from January 2021.
Your rights to state healthcare under your current EHIC will remain the same until December 31.
Who can apply for the new EHIC?
The new EHIC does not provide free healthcare to everyone.
If you are categorised as one of the people below, you may apply for the new card.
Visits to the EU that start in 2020 and end in 2021
If you are visiting Spain or another EU country during the Christmas and New Year period, your EHIC will remain valid until you either return to the UK or visit another EU country.
Students in the EU
If you are a student and studying in the EU on or before December 31, 2020, or are on a placement as part of a recognised UK university course and your course continues beyond 2020, you will need to apply for the new EHIC.
This will cover you for healthcare until your studies abroad come to an end.
Note that from January 31, 2021, the EHIC will only cover healthcare in the EU country in which you study. You are also advised to have travel and/or private insurance to cover every eventuality including repatriation which is not covered by EHIC.
How do I apply for the new EHIC?
Those who apply now will receive their new UK EHIC before the transition period ends on December 31, 2020.
IMPORTANT: Remember that the EHIC is not a substitute for travel or private insurance. In some cases, it may not cover all of your healthcare needs and does not cover any costs incurred for repatriation and other treatments.
To apply for the new EHIC, please visit the following official NHS link.
If you are in the EU and don’t have your EHIC
If you are in the EU and need treatment and have lost or forgotten your EHIC, you can apply for a PRC or ‘Provisional Replacement Certificate’ which will prove your entitlement.
To apply for the PRC you will need to call the Overseas Healthcare Services in the UK on +44 (0)191 218 1999, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
If you are travelling to Spain or another EU country, you are advised to also take out private travel insurance to cover every eventuality and healthcare requirement while abroad.
In some cases, you may need to take out private health insurance. At Health Plan Spain we have a wide range of policies which you can see here.