Can we register and pay for Autonamo to get onto Spanish Health System

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27 Jun 2011 12:00 AM by skippy498 Star rating in Los Alcazares. 16 posts Send private message

HI, my husband and I are early retirees 55 years old and resident in the Murcia region of Spain. Because of our age we are not entitled to UK reciprocal health care and are currently paying for Private Health Care with all its restrictions on pre-existing health conditions-  not that we have any problems at the moment!.

My question is - are we allowed to register as Autonomo and pay into the system in order to gain access to the Spanish Health Care or do we really have to have a business. From research we know that payment to become an Autonomo is more expensive than the private health care but it would seem that we would be better off in the long run because of the long time before we become official 'pensionistas'

Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.



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28 Jun 2011 11:06 AM by lobin Star rating. 255 posts Send private message

Registering as Autonomo for Social Security and paying into the service will, in fact, get you health care and when you reach 65 (or perhaps later if the contemplated reform finally goes ahead) you will be entitled to a pension even if small because you would have contributed only for a little over 10 years.

However, I believe you should consult with a tax expert because there are other implications of being registered as conducting a business such as, for example, having to file quarterly IVA returns, even if no activities have taken place, fill in the annual income tax pages for professional or business activities, paying an annual operating license depending on the type of business you register as, etc.

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28 Jun 2011 12:41 PM by sneezey Star rating. 64 posts Send private message

sneezey´s avatar

You need to be careful about this, as Lobo said, you would have to take on the tax responsibilities as a self employed person, Tax returns IVA declarations etc... and as there is a minimum period that you have to pay social security before you are entitled to a pension,  if you only pay 10 years you would be under this limit and therefore you would not be entitled to a pension from the Spainish Government. I think it would be cheaper to take out a private insurance, but if you need more specific advice taking into consideration all of your circumstances you would be wise to contact a professional. There's a box in the legal section of eye on Spain for free advice try that. 

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28 Jun 2011 1:28 PM by skippy498 Star rating in Los Alcazares. 16 posts Send private message

Thanks for the info, have emailed the free legal advice service as suggested so will wait and see what they say, thanks

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28 Jun 2011 3:10 PM by formentera costa Star rating. 368 posts Send private message

Hi skippy498,

I understood that if you were under pension age when

you moved to spain from the U.K. that you could get form

E108 (it may be called something different now) and it

would allow you to have up to 2 years free cover on the

health service in spain.

can anyone else tell me if this has changed.



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28 Jun 2011 3:37 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2253 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 E106 for up to 2.5 years depending on the amount of NI you have paid in the last few years.

E121 if you are retired or disabled.


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28 Jun 2011 3:43 PM by formentera costa Star rating. 368 posts Send private message

Hi bobaol.

yes I got the munber wrong it should have

said E106 and not E108.

I know about the E121 as we used it last year

when we moved over here to spain permanently.

but I think the E121 has now been replaced by the S1.



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28 Jun 2011 5:16 PM by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

28 Jun 2011 6:10 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2253 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

It's all the S1 now but the government website still refers to them as the E106 and E121 although those forms are only needed for the EEA countries outside the EU.  So, for Spain, the S1.

The website (well, some of them) tell you to apply for the E106 or E121 but you will get an S1.

The NHS webiste here  explains it better than the pensions website which is here 

It's all a government plot to confuse us.



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29 Jun 2011 1:38 PM by skippy498 Star rating in Los Alcazares. 16 posts Send private message

Hi, thanks for all the replies, we are not entitled to any free health care because we stopped working more than 2 years ago. I am still waiting to hear from the legal people to see what they say. We do have private health care but think it would suit us better if we could go 'autonomo' if it is possible.



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30 Jun 2011 8:48 AM by mobailey Star rating in San Cayetano. 461 posts Send private message

mobailey´s avatar

hi, we went to a meeting for expats put on by the British Consulate the other week and they are there to offer advice on pensions etc and if you have worked in UK and then in Spain the number of years and totaled for pension purposes.  However the main message was talk to the consulate and ask for advice rather than taking for gospel what all the expats say.  There is a good website all about Murcia area and living there with links to the consulate have a look at


Mo&Bryan & Why not see if can we help  

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01 Jul 2011 1:22 PM by skippy498 Star rating in Los Alcazares. 16 posts Send private message

Hi Mobailey

We have already been to one of the British Consulate meetings and asked the question, so we know for sure that we are not entitled to reciprocal health careto. I am still waiting for the legal people to get back to me to see what our options are, maybe I should ask Maria.

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01 Jul 2011 3:46 PM by Johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

My wife, considerably younger than me,  is a non-European.


She had permanent Residencia in Spain and is covered for National Health though my contributions in UK,. However, when I die she will cease to have a right to free cover.  Also, as there is no such thing as a Widow's pension now in UK she will get a very small payment and then nothing forever.


Any ideas how I can overcome this would be most welcome.


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