Registering for Spanish NHS

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Wicksey
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Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:23 pm

I now understand that I can possibly register for the Spanish NHS as I have been resident since before April 2012. I am not of pension age and do not work here.

The Spanish CAB had very useful information on it, including the fact that the INSS have at times resisted registering foreigners under this scheme and there have been court cases against the INSS. It never seemed to be definite before that we would be accepted, but all the info online seemed to say that it would now be OK.

However, I have unfortunately found that all the info online is now out of date. I contacted the DWP in the UK to ask for the legislation letters that would confirm that we are no longer in the UK NHS system, but they no longer issue these. I have been told to go to the INSS and ask them to send a S040 to the HMRC to request details of our NI contributions and they will issue the INSS with form S041. I'm not sure what happens after that. I think I shall have to speak with our assessoria now as this looks more complicated than before which is a disappointment as it did seem fairly straightforward.

I don't suppose anyone on here has gone through this new system of registering which only came in a couple of months ago?

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:36 am

Went to the INSS in Velez Malaga yesterday armed with all the info above. There was lots of shrugging and 'we know nothing' sort of thing .... so we ended up being told, no letter from the UK, no health care.

I rang Newcastle again to be told the same again (in fact they said that they should have stopped issuing legislation letters in July 2014 but continued to do so for another couple of years). They suggested I contact the FCO in Madrid who have a healthcare section.

Their initial email reply confirms the situation:
If you need to provide proof you are not covered by the UK for healthcare you must request Spanish social security to do this check. The UK authorities no longer provide proof of this unless requested directly by the Spanish authorities;

I am hoping that they will provide something more detailed in Spanish that I can take for my next visit. I am obviously the first unfortunate person to encounter this :(

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby BENIDORM » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:11 am

Wicksey...Don't give in.!!!
My experience with the INSS was similar when I first applied for my Spanish pension, I was told NO you are not entitled and when I insisted that I was sure that I was they did say that they would investigate and they did and 6 months later I received my pension and back pay.
I have to say that although they didn't seem to know what to do about my claim ,they were very helpful and treated me with respect.
So my advice is to keep calling into their office and ask what progress they have made, I always approached them with a polite manner and it worked !!

Good Luck,
Regards,
Gordon :wave:

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Wicksey
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:11 am

Thank you for your encouragement Gordon! I am hoping that perhaps if I can get something in writing that I can take with me they may accept it, but I am not sure what the arrangements were between the UK and Spain when this changed. Surely I am not the first person to apply since the UK stopped issuing those letters, but I will persevere and keep you posted!

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby peteroldracer » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Our experience of the INSS office in Velez is that more than anywhere else we have been to we got totally different reactions from everyone in there, from the guard as to who we should see, to the three civil servants who dealt with us, to the office manager. The latter finally got us sorted but used a face-saving (for the servant) suggestion that they give us 'special dispensation' to sign us up!
This was nearly 12 years ago but I doubt things will have changed. Keep on keeping on.....
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:09 pm

The FCO in Madrid has just phoned me. I am not the first person to encounter this problem and there is something of an impasse between Spain and the UK at the moment, so he will let me know within the next 3 weeks what the situation is. It's not just Velez Malaga being difficult then! It is, at least, in hand although what (and when) the outcome may be, I shall have to wait and see.

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:16 am

Good news ..... the British Consulate in Madrid emailed me yesterday to say that the UK are now issuing legislation letters again. They obviously lost their battle with the Spanish authorities to get them to contact the UK for this information.

So I have rung the Overseas Healthcare Team in Newcastle and the letters are on their way .....result! It was just a shame I originally tried to register in that period when it was all up in the air, and wasted time and money (for our interpreter) on a fruitless visit to the INSS

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Miro » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:02 pm

We had to go through the palaver of getting legislation letters a few years ago (I posted somewhere here on A.com about our situation) after having been registered for years (originally as autonomos) and then being cut off without warning or explanation. Nightmare. Even with the legislation letters, they gave us a hard time, but did eventually get it sorted. You have my sympathy!
I wonder what will happen next - with Brexit and all that?....I can definitely see Spain throwing the dummy out the pram, just to be spiteful. Hopefully we'll be gone before the proverbial hits.
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:55 pm

They just took my details in Newcastle over the phone and said that the letters were 'on their way' but they do take a few weeks to reach us, for some reason. I was talking to someone else who did it locally a couple of years ago so that prompted me to look into it more. They didn't have any problems, so I am just hoping we will get into the system in the coming months.

I am not worrying too much about Brexit as the UK is trying to agree reciprocal arrangements with the other EU countries. There are many other EU nationals living in the UK that want to keep their rights, as much as all of us expats wanting to keep ours.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11 ... resa-mays/

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby peteroldracer » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:05 pm

A person who is regarded as ordinarily resident in the UK is eligible for free treatment by a GP. A person is ‘ordinarily resident’ for this purpose if lawfully living in the UK for a settled purpose as part of the regular order of his or her life for the time being. Anyone coming to live in this country would qualify as ordinarily resident.
Unless there is a change in the law there would be no change in their cover after Brexit, unlike the status of expats in Spain.
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Miro » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:11 pm

Brexit is not actually what's making us leave. TBH, I don't really believe it will affect permanent residents such as ourselves very much, but the one thing that I am a bit concerned about is the continuance of free state health care entitlement. I'm confident that legally our rights will be protected and that agreements will be in place before long. But Spain whipped the carpet out from under our feet once before with no justification whatsoever (not even an explanation), so it would not surprise me at all if they try playing games with Brits, just for the heck of it. OK, we've had a particularly bad experience, but health care is a biggy, especially as we're not getting any younger (surprisingly!)
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Miro » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:28 am

Received today:

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Commit to healthcare arrangements for British pensioners living in the EU”.

Government responded:

During this negotiation we will seek to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people. However, it would be wrong to set out unilateral positions in advance of the negotiating process.

There has been no change to the rights and status of British citizens in the EU, or EU nationals in the UK as a result of the referendum. The Government recognises the challenges and fears of British nationals living in EU countries.

The Government is considering the positions and all options available with the aim of achieving the best outcome for British citizens. Nothing has yet been decided on the future of medical treatment in Europe for British pensioners once the UK leaves the EU.

The reciprocal rights and entitlements that will apply following the UK’s exit are subject to the wider negotiation on our future relationship with the EU. These negotiations have not yet begun so it is not possible to set out any positions in advance.

Department of Health


So - no commitment there at all!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:28 pm

Yay ..... the letters came through today giving us the right to register for the NHS here ...... quite a relief as it's still a few years before we are pension age now that I have to wait until I'm 66 rather than 60 to be a state pensioner. Still have to tackle the health centre who we need to take the letters to to get our cards apparently, but at least we are a step closer now!

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Unicorn » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:38 pm

Wicksey, when I did mine I went to the Social Security office rather than the health centre. It may have changed as that was just after the 2012 thing came into operation.

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby elusive » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:59 am

Yes i think you need to go to the social security office INSS. When you get a standard S1 you registar it there with copies of everything and anything. You either then get docs there and then or they come in the post that you take to your medical centre to registar and then the health cards are sent. I think it was that way but you defo first registar at the SS office

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Miro » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:24 am

If you're referring to the legislation letters from Newcastle, then yes, you almost certainly will need to take them to the INSS office to register, where you should then be issued with (or sent by post) entitlement certificates. It's these certificates that will enable you to then register with a GP at a clinic near you. At least, that's how it worked with us. Good luck, and stay healthy!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Wicksey
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:27 pm

No I've done the legislation letter bit and took those to the INSS office a month ago.

We now have the entitlement letters from the Spanish social security office saying we have the right to register, and they say to take them to the local Centro de Salud to get the tarjeta sanitaria. We shall do that next week ..... do we need to take additional papers or ID apart from these letters? The INSS has seen all our paperwork but presumably we need to present ID?

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby peteroldracer » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:29 pm

Whatever papers you take they will often ask for something else!
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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Wicksey » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:31 pm

Yes that's what I thought Peter .... we usually take everything we can think of!

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Re: Registering for Spanish NHS

Postby Free at Last » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:44 pm

I know our Health Centre insists that you take a photocopy of your ID (passports in our case) as well as the original as they don't photocopy documents for people. I'm sure we had to supply a copy of our "residencia" as well, and it might be a good idea to take your padrón certificate too.

When we registered at our local Health Centre, our medical cards arrived in the post about two weeks later. They did ask if either of us wanted to make an appointment at the time we registered, though, so if you needed any treatment I'm sure you wouldn't have to wait for the cards to arrive.


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