Why the Spain GHIC is important now we’ve left the EU
Viva España! Spain always has been, and always will be a tremendously popular holiday destination for Brits looking for a sunny getaway. From weekends away with the girls, through to family holidays, Spain really does have something to offer everyone. So if you’re longing for your next Spanish break, it’s important to understand exactly what a Spain GHIC Card is, and why you need to secure one before your next getaway in Spain.
When the UK left the EU, there was a lot of debate about whether we would retain the same rights of access to emergency healthcare when we travelled or worked in EU countries, including Spain. Luckily the negotiations concluded that we could indeed hang on to these rights, although it’s important to be aware that the system has changed.
The previous version of the GHIC – known as the European Health Insurance Card, came in to being in 2004. When we left the EU at the end of 2020, UK citizens lost the right to apply for this system. However, the good news is that the Spain UK GHIC Card can be used for the same purpose, to help you show your rights to access state-sponsored healthcare whilst you are visiting Spain.
Types of medical activity covered by the Spain UK Global Health Insurance Card
Even the most careful of travellers can fall victim to an unexpected illness, or have an accident whilst on holiday. This is exactly where the Spain UK GHIC Card comes into play. Whether you take a tumble on the cobbled streets of La Rambla or find yourself taken ill whilst soaking in the Mediterranean sunshine – the Spain GHIC or Slovakia GHIC card will help you prove your entitlement to emergency healthcare.
There is an extensive health service in Spain, with highly competent doctors and medical staff who can provide excellent quality medical care. The Spain GHIC Card is designed to give you access to emergency care, so things like an A&E visit, emergency surgery, or in-patient stays if you are struck down with a serious illness that means you cannot safely wait to return to the UK before you seek treatment.
Despite the great healthcare available, the Spain GHIC isn’t designed to provide access to people specifically travelling for the purpose of seeking medical treatment. Some routine conditions can be treated, if you need ongoing help for a chronic condition. Certain routine and emergency maternal treatments can also be accessed without cost if you hold a valid Spain Health Insurance Card or Slovenia GHIC card.
How the Spain GHIC relates to travel insurance
It’s really important to ensure that you have a valid Spain GHIC Card before you travel, as this will be necessary to help you prove your entitlement to critical care. However, it isn’t an alternative to valid insurance – and you should always take out adequate travel insurance for the activities that you are planning on your holiday.
Of course, Spain is a hugely popular choice for the adventurous holiday-maker. Venture out from any of the big cities and you can find whole activity centres dedicated to sky diving – or check out all kinds of watersports at the busy coastal resorts. If you’re planning to take part in these amazing activities – should the worst happen, and you need to seek medical attention, your Spain UK GHIC card will help you to prove your entitlement to treatment. However, lots of things like mountain rescue and air ambulances are not covered by state healthcare, and you won’t be able to recover the costs through the Spain GHIC system. That’s why it’s really important to ensure that you have the right kind of adventure activity insurance in place too, so you can have a fun and adrenaline-filled holiday, without having to worry about the logistics if you have an accident.
It’s also worth remembering that travel insurance is really important for protecting you against other problems. Whether that’s the airline losing your luggage, or pickpockets catching you unawares in a busy street – the Spain UK Global Health Insurance Card or Sweden GHIC card isn’t a substitute for appropriate travel insurance to protect you against these issues.
Get your card, complete your Spain GHIC application today
Whether it’s a relaxing couple’s retreat or a fun-filled hen weekend, we know that when you’re planning your next Spanish holiday, the last thing you want to be worrying about is lots of paperwork and planning. That’s why we’ve made it super simple to complete your Spain GHIC application online, so you can tick that off the list, and get on with planning the fun parts of your holiday.
Do children need their own Spain GHIC card?
Yes. Every member of your group will need their own Spain Health Insurance Card before you set off on your holiday. Don’t worry though – we’ve made it really easy and straightforward to complete the application, you can apply for yourself and any children under the age of 16. So, sit back and relax – with our simple system you can get your Spain UK GHIC Cards in no time at all.
How do I know if I’m entitled to a Spain Health Insurance Card?
Whether you’re entitled to a Spain GHIC comes down to your residency status, rather than your nationality. Therefore whether you’re a UK citizen or a citizen of an EU member state who has been resident in the UK prior to January 1st 2021 – you are eligible to apply. Your family members and dependent children are also eligible for the Spain UK GHIC Card, so get your application in now, and start planning the rest of your trip!
Is an EHIC Card the same as a Spain GHIC?
No. Since the UK left the EU, no UK residents are able to apply for the EHIC scheme. Existing EHIC cards will remain valid until their expiry date, but if you’re planning to travel to Spain now, or in the future, it’s well worth checking your expiry date if you do have an old EHIC kicking around. Once it expires, you’ll need to get your application for a Spain Health Insurance Card underway.