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Spain : no free healthcare causes confusion with expats

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Following the recent reports that British citizens are being turned away from hospitals or being charged for healthcare in Spain, Jelf Employee Benefits is urging expats to do their homework before they travel.

Expats who move to Spain may think they can rely on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as a replacement for medical insurance, when this should really just be used for short-term trips and travel.

Sarah Dennis, international healthcare director for Jelf Employee Benefits says: ‘There is no such thing as free healthcare in Spain.  This can cause confusion for expats working abroad.  We urge expats to seek advice before they travel so they won’t have to deal with any difficult issues when aboard.’

In Jelf Employee Benefits’ experience, there is a lack of understanding about what is actually required in terms of healthcare overseas.

Sarah Dennis goes on to say: ‘If it was compulsory for people relocating or moving to Spain for work to purchase healthcare as part of a visa requirement, then perhaps Spain wouldn’t have so many issues in having the system abused.’