If you live in Spain, or are planning to move to Spain, healthcare will be at the top of your list of things to sort out. Spain’s public health system has a good reputation and while private healthcare is also an option, the majority of people living Spain are highly satisfied with the public health system. It is fairly easy to sign up for a public health card in Spain: follow our guide and get a public health card in Spain.
Who is eligible for public healthcare in Spain?
In order to apply for a public health card in Spain, you must be eligible for public healthcare. Healthcare is independently managed in each region of Spain, meaning that the requirements may be slightly different depending on where you live. If you are an expat in Spain, these are the most common requirements to access the state healthcare system in Spain for free:
- working or self-employed resident in Spain and paying Spanish social security
- living in Spain and receiving certain state benefits
- a child who is a resident in Spain
- a pregnant woman who is a resident in Spain
- under 26 and studying in Spain
- you receive a Spanish state pension or certain benefits
- if you are staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card
How to apply for a Spanish health card
The process of applying for a health card in Spain is simple and only requires a few documents and steps.
If you are eligible for a Spanish health card, you will have to present the following documents:
- your social security number
- your ID card or passport: in the case of EU citizens, you can use your NIE, while non-EU citizens can show their TIE. Both the original documents and photocopies are required.
- A copy of your empadronamiento to prove where you live.
One you have all the necessary documents, you’re ready to apply for your free health card in Spain. You can do this in two different ways:
- online: if you have a digital certificate in Spain, this can be done online on the health portal of your region
- in person in your local health centre: head to the “centro de salud” with your documents and the reception staff will complete the application with you.
Your card will then either be sent to your home address or you can collect it in your designated health centre.