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Accessing UK NHS as a UK citizen with Spanish residencia

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:08pm
38 replies1448 views8 members subscribed
colin4457

Posts: 61

17 helpful points

Location: Pedreguer

Joined: 3 Jun 2018

My wife and I obtained residencia in 2020 under the Brexit withdrawal agreement. We currently share our time between the UK and Spain as we have an elderly parent who benefits from our ongoing support. Neither of us are yet at pension age  but have taken out private health insurance - as required to obtain residencia. We also have UK issued EHIC cards which expire in 2025.

What isn't clear to us is whether we are still able to access the UK NHS in the same way we could before obtaining residencia. The NHS web site doesn't make it clear so I have submitted an online query to them asking for clarification. Given that they are rather busy at the moment, a reply may be a long time coming.

Is anyone else in the same position and, if so, what is your opinion and can you point me to something official?

Thanks in advance!

Colin

Lancelot

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:48pm

Lancelot

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Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:48pm

My understanding is nhs is free at the point of use after 3 months residence.

Might be some access for primary care before then - depends on why you are asking.

colin4457

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:27pm

colin4457

Original Poster

Posts: 61

17 helpful points

Location: Pedreguer

Joined: 3 Jun 2018

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:27pm

Lancelot wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:48pm:

My understanding is nhs is free at the point of use after 3 months residence.

Might be some access for primary care before then - depends on why you are asking.

Thanks Lancelot. I'm only asking so I know what the situation will be should either of us need to use the NHS or our local UK GP whenever we are in the UK. Neither of us have a current requirement!

I'm not sure your understanding is correct as the NHS web site states ... "Hospital treatment is free to people who are "ordinarily resident" in the UK. To be considered ordinarily resident and entitled to free hospital treatment, you must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. You may be asked to prove this.

You cannot be considered ordinarily resident in the UK unless you have indefinite leave to remain or status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you're a visitor from the EU, even if you're a former UK resident, you can use your EHIC, PRC or S2 when visiting the UK. If you cannot provide these documents, you may be charged for your care."

My concern is what happens once our EHIC cards have expired!

tebo53

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:33pm

tebo53

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Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:33pm

colin4457 wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:27pm:

Thanks Lancelot. I'm only asking so I know what the situation will be should either of us need to use the NHS or our local UK GP whenever we are in the UK. Neither of us have a current requirement!

I'm not sure your understanding is correct as the NHS web site states ... "Hospital treatment is free to people who are "ordinarily resident" in the UK. To be considered ordinarily resident and entitled to free hospital treatment, you must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled...

... basis for the time being. You may be asked to prove this.

You cannot be considered ordinarily resident in the UK unless you have indefinite leave to remain or status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you're a visitor from the EU, even if you're a former UK resident, you can use your EHIC, PRC or S2 when visiting the UK. If you cannot provide these documents, you may be charged for your care."

My concern is what happens once our EHIC cards have expired!

I understand that you can apply for GHIC cards as a Spanish resident. 

Ste

Peter3473

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:39pm

Peter3473

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Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:39pm

I am on the understanding that if you are a resident in Spain and not receiving the UKstate pension your EHIC/GHIC Card is not valid for any medical treatment in Spain or back in the UK, Check out your private health insurance policy for travel out of Spain, as my private health insurance obtained here in Spain covers myself for up to 240 days travel outside Spain. 

Lancelot

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:53pm

Lancelot

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Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:53pm

colin4457 wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:27pm:

Thanks Lancelot. I'm only asking so I know what the situation will be should either of us need to use the NHS or our local UK GP whenever we are in the UK. Neither of us have a current requirement!

I'm not sure your understanding is correct as the NHS web site states ... "Hospital treatment is free to people who are "ordinarily resident" in the UK. To be considered ordinarily resident and entitled to free hospital treatment, you must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled...

... basis for the time being. You may be asked to prove this.

You cannot be considered ordinarily resident in the UK unless you have indefinite leave to remain or status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you're a visitor from the EU, even if you're a former UK resident, you can use your EHIC, PRC or S2 when visiting the UK. If you cannot provide these documents, you may be charged for your care."

My concern is what happens once our EHIC cards have expired!

Okay the 3 months is my view.

Don't forget that with private medical cover you may well be covered whilst on holiday, caveats likely around how long you are out of Spain. Think we are covered for upto 10k Euro each "abroad" but I don't know how long for.

colin4457

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:56pm

colin4457

Original Poster

Posts: 61

17 helpful points

Location: Pedreguer

Joined: 3 Jun 2018

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:56pm

tebo53 wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:33pm:

I understand that you can apply for GHIC cards as a Spanish resident. 

Ste

Hi tebo53,

The GHIC is gradually replacing the EHIC following Brexit but I don't believe that you can just get one if you are a UK citizen with Spanish residencia. My wife and I both have an EHIC card so are entitled to free NHS care even though we are resident in Spain thanks to the withdrawal agreement. I have done some more digging and it looks like we will be able to replace the cards when they expire (presumably for a GHIC card) as we will both have reached the UK state pension age (there has to be some benefit doesn't there?! ;-)).

The only other criteria for obtaining a replacement if you live abroad is if you are "a posted or frontier worker" or "if you are living in the EEA and are family member of someone working in the UK".

I think I have satisfied myself that we will be allowed free NHS care should we need it when we are in the UK but only because we have a current EHIC/GHIC card at the time.

Colin

colin4457

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:58pm

colin4457

Original Poster

Posts: 61

17 helpful points

Location: Pedreguer

Joined: 3 Jun 2018

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:58pm

Lancelot wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:53pm:

Okay the 3 months is my view.

Don't forget that with private medical cover you may well be covered whilst on holiday, caveats likely around how long you are out of Spain. Think we are covered for upto 10k Euro each "abroad" but I don't know how long for.

Thanks again. See my reply to tebo53 which, I believe, allays my concerns.

colin4457

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:05pm

colin4457

Original Poster

Posts: 61

17 helpful points

Location: Pedreguer

Joined: 3 Jun 2018

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:05pm

Peter3473 wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:39pm:

I am on the understanding that if you are a resident in Spain and not receiving the UKstate pension your EHIC/GHIC Card is not valid for any medical treatment in Spain or back in the UK, Check out your private health insurance policy for travel out of Spain, as my private health insurance obtaine...

...d here in Spain covers myself for up to 240 days travel outside Spain. 

Thanks Peter.

I have managed to satisfy myself that our current EHIC cards do provide free NHS care as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Also, by the time they expire, we can apply for renewals because we will both be at UK state pension age. Although we have private medical insurance, I would rather avoid the significant extra cost of it!

C

tebo53

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:57pm

tebo53

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Posts: 3184

3395 helpful points

Location: Benidorm

Joined: 29 May 2018

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:57pm

colin4457 wrote on Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:56pm:

Hi tebo53,

The GHIC is gradually replacing the EHIC following Brexit but I don't believe that you can just get one if you are a UK citizen with Spanish residencia. My wife and I both have an EHIC card so are entitled to free NHS care even though we are resident in Spain thanks to the withdrawal agreement. I...

... have done some more digging and it looks like we will be able to replace the cards when they expire (presumably for a GHIC card) as we will both have reached the UK state pension age (there has to be some benefit doesn't there?! ;-)).

The only other criteria for obtaining a replacement if you live abroad is if you are "a posted or frontier worker" or "if you are living in the EEA and are family member of someone working in the UK".

I think I have satisfied myself that we will be allowed free NHS care should we need it when we are in the UK but only because we have a current EHIC/GHIC card at the time.

Colin

Hi Colin,

When you reach pension age and are entitled to UK government pension you will also be entitled to apply for healthcare via the S1 healthcare scheme which is paid by the UK government. The S1 scheme will entitle you to use the Spanish Healthcare services. 

Having the S1 forms, which entitles you to healthcare in Spain paid for by the UK government will also entitle you to use the UK NHS When you visit the UK. 

You will be sent two copies of the original S1 forms, 1 set for the Spanish authorities and the other set for your use, I.e. to access the NHS in the UK

Steve 

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