Meds in Spain

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17 Jun 2013 09:56 by deesam56 Star rating in Stafford. 31 posts Send private message

 thinking of moving to Spain soon

I have rheumatoid arthritis which I take regular meds for and also have infliximab infusion every 2 months

as being 56 and my husband 65, how do i get treatment at a reduced cost?  or do I have to pay full price?

also do you register with doc and hospital as here?


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17 Jun 2013 10:11 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

As with everyone who lives in Spain as you get here you should register and get your 'residencia'. For this you will need a padron form your local town hall. You have to register with the local health authority who will appoint a doctor and clinic/surgery. Once there as your husband is a pensioner he and his spouse are entitled to 'free' healthcare on production of your medical card. As a pensioner one pays up to 10% of the cost of the prescriptions. There is a maximum per month charge of €8,00 per person but getting the refund is a pain and in most cases not worth it. Before you leave the U.K. it is essential to get an E.H.I.C. which you will use until you have got your medical card. I understand that in some regions you do not get the 90% discount on prescriptions (with the U.K. E.H.I.C.) but each region have their own rules. Once you are on the Spanish medical system you then contact Newcastle and ask them to change the area of residency from U.K. to Spain for the E.H.I.C.. This then entitles you to use the blue card everywhere in Europe EXCEPT Spain, as you are on the national system. This card then entitles you to 'emergency' treatment in the U.K. which includes repeat prescriptions. So long as you produce a repeat prescription piece of paper for that medication.

Good luck


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17 Jun 2013 10:30 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar
Have a look at previous threads on healthcare in Spain. You need to contact the International Pensions centre in Newcastle before moving over. They will send a completed S1 form to your new address in Spain so it will be waiting for you when you arrive. Your husband will get a pensionista status and you will be given beneficionaria status. Once you have your residency and padron, you can take the S1 form to the social security office local to you and you will be given a healthcard, a GP practice and a named doctor. All consultations and treatment will then be free except for prescriptions. Your husband will pay 10% of the cost up to a maximum of 8 euros a month and you will pay 40% of the cost until you reach retirement age. Prescription drugs are pretty cheap in Spain. For example, last month my wife had to have gastro reflux tablets, anti-inflammatory tablets, antibiotics and blood pressure tablets. The 10% charge came to €3.61. Even if it had been 40% that would have only been just under €14.50 for the 4 items whereas UK would be 4 x current prescription charges (sorry, England not UK).
Note that if you earn more than 100, 000 euros a year the cap for pensioners is 18 euros a month and under pensionable age it is 50% of the cost.
The phone numbers for the IPC in Newcastle are on the threads or simply Google IPC Newcastle.

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17 Jun 2013 15:23 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1408 posts Send private message

In  England the prescription charge for a pensioner would be zero!

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17 Jun 2013 16:18 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 I did point out that if you were paying 40% (ie, not a pensioner)  then you would pay the charge.  Deesam mentioned she was 56 therefore under 60 and liable for the prescription charges in England (all other UK countries are free regardless of age, I believe).


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31 May 2014 15:10 by cheesypeas Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

My situation is slightly different:  I am a pensioner (67) but my wife is not (55).  She doesn't work.  We have a residence in the UK and we rent a property here in Spain.  We spend rather more time in Spain than the UK but we have no property of our own here and at any moment we may revert to living in the UK.  We have no Spanish residency status, no NIE, nothing.  Until now I have had all medical matters dealt with in the UK.  If we needed a doctor here we would find a private one.  We both have EHICs for emergencies.  I am diabetic, as is my wife.  We therefore get free prescriptions in the UK.  We both take a cocktail of various meds each day for various other conditions.

I have been wondering if we should move over to the Spanish system, if we should seek some sort of basic health insurance or stick with the NHS.  I, for example take about 8 different tablets a day and my wife the same.  She will presumably pay 40% and I just 10% of the cost - I presume diabetes does not affect the cost of medication as it does in the UK (free)?  What do you recommend?


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31 May 2014 18:20 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1837 posts Send private message

The basic problem under that scenario, is as you probably realise you cannot become registered for medi-care in Spain without also becoming a fiscal resident liable to Spanish tax laws and all the rest such as prohibition of using a UK registered.vehicle.

You would need advice from a Spanish tax accountant because ownng a UK property is liable to an asset tax as well as your income depending on the amount and your circumstances.

You will probably discover it's better remaining as you are.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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31 May 2014 20:34 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

You would have to get your NIE, the so-called residency (Register of EU citizens in Spain) and transfer your healthcare from UK to Spain before you could move to the Spanish NHS. You don't need to take fiscal residency if your main base is UK, ie main home, work commitments and so on and your "centre of vital interests".

If you did join the Spanish NHS, it would restrict your access to the UK NHS. 

If you and your wife are on 8 or more tablets a day, then I assume you would have some ongoing and existing problems which a private insurance policy wouldn't cover.

Until you move over on a permanent basis and start paying your tax here, I would do as mickyfinn says and stay on the UK system. Your UK EHIC will cover you for emergency treatment in Spain plus it covers all medically necessary treatment while you are on a temporary stay in Spain providing you still consider UK your main place of residence.





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01 Jun 2014 08:08 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Deesam.    Just to clarify it,  If you spend 183 in Spain in any year (you said more time in Spain than in UK ) then you are automatically tax resident. That is ONE of the rules under which one becomes tax resident, there are others.

Micky    ownng a UK property is liable to an asset tax
Just by owing it, you will be taxed on it as  'income tax'.      

See the thread:-     'Residents,  'Tax on Property in and out of Spain'


This message was last edited by johnzx on 01/06/2014.

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01 Jun 2014 08:59 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1837 posts Send private message

Maybe I should have said ‘taxed on your asset’ to please johnzx.

Either way 'chessypeas' is better off remaining a UK resident in fiscal terms and should make changes to be sure he can prove he remains in Spain under the 183 days in any year.

However as we all know the law is one thing and it's practical application quite another.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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01 Jun 2014 13:59 by cheesypeas Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Well I think I'm with Mickyfinn.  We will remain how we are at present - taxed and medicated in the UK and very very quiet about how much time we actually spend in Spain.  If I need to see a doctor here I will pay for it otherwise it's back to the UK for checkups.  We practically do not exist here, no property, no car, nothing - unless Mercadona are keeping tabs on us.  I might sell up one day in the UK and move out here - or I may not.  At present I don't want to get stuck with a Spanish property that I can't sell - this way I can pack my bags and go home tomorrow, if necessary.

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01 Jun 2014 14:08 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Micky  Maybe I should have said ‘taxed on your asset’

It's not on assets it's on property or land.  Just owning it is taxed at 50'% of its purchase value multiplied by 1.1% 
Whereas,  bank accounts, shares etc are not taxed on just having them, it is only any income from them that is..

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01 Jun 2014 14:14 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1837 posts Send private message

Property is a tangible financial asset.


This message was last edited by Mickyfinn on 01/06/2014.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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