If you plan to live and work legally in Spain and contribute into the system, you need to apply for a social security number in order to qualify for benefits such as public healthcare. This number can be obtained from the Seguridad Social office in Paseo Saladar in Denia.
If you were legally living in Spain before January 1st 2021 then the way you access healthcare has not changed.
If you are working in Spain, you are entitled to state healthcare and a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE). This will cover you for necessary healthcare when visiting the UK and Europe.
UK state pensioners (S1 Form holders) will continue to access healthcare in the same way. S1 holders are entitled to a UK EHIC for use when visiting Europe.
If you are not an S1 holder, but are registered for public healthcare in Spain in another way and are travelling outside of Spain, you must apply for a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE – a Spanish-issued EHIC) online (in Spanish), or go to your nearest social security office (Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social).
If you are not working and don’t claim a state pension, there are alternative ways to access healthcare in Spain.
Remember: if you are resident in Spain, you cannot use a UK EHIC to access healthcare unless you are a posted worker or a student.
PROCEDURE FOR THOSE WHO QUALIFY
- A valid passport or national identity card
- NIE / Residency Certificate
- Application Form Modelo TA.1 – completed and signed
TESORERÍA GENERAL DE LA SEGURIDAD SOCIAL
Passeig del Saladar, 41
03700 Denia (Alicante)
Tel: 96 578 00 22
Open: 9.00am to 2.00pm (Monday to Friday)
You can make an appointment either by telephone or online using the link below.
When you enter the offices, head straight for the clerk sitting behind desk nearby and explain that you want to apply for a social security number. (If your language skills are not up to scratch, simply handing over the completed form tends to get across the message.) You’ll be handed a slip of paper with an appointment number printed on it. And then it’s simply a case of sitting and waiting for that number to appear on the screen above the desk.
When it does appear, make your way to the desk number shown and hand over your paperwork to the clerk. Assuming everything meets the requirements, you will be handed back a certificate of social security registration on which you’ll find your number.
Getting the SIP card
CENTRO DE SALUD PUEBLO-URGENCIAS
Plaza de la Constitución
03730 Jávea (Alicante)
Tel: 96 642 81 50
Open: 8.00am to 2.00pm (Monday to Friday)
When you enter the health centre, turn right and head for the desk to the right of the stairs. Hand over your paperwork to the clerk – you’ll need your social security registration, a valid padron certificate and a form of identification, such as a passport or national identity card; if you have an employment contract, it’s a good idea to present that as well. (It’s always beneficial to take several copies of everything to speed up the process.)
Assuming everything is satisfactory, the clerk will hand back a temporary SIP card on the reverse of which you will have been allocated a doctor in the Centro de Salud.
A permanent SIP card will normally be issued months after the temporary one has expired although it will still accepted. The clerk in the health centre will normally let you know if you need to upgrade to a permanent card.
STOLEN / MISPLACED CARD PROCEDURE
The procedure for replacing a lost or stolen SIP card is quite simple, if a little drawn out in the process. If your card has been stolen, you should report the theft to receive the relative report from the police; you will not be charged for a replacement if you have this documentation. If you have lost or misplaced your SIP card (or if you don’t fancy the rigmarole of dealing with the police), you will be charged a nominal fee for its replacement .
Your first stop is the reception desk at the Centro de Salud in the old town where they will be able to find your details on their database using your full name, social security number or date of birth (or all three) along with a valid document of identification such as your passport. You will then be handed two copies of an application form for the replacement – you will soon discover that you will need three, one for the health service, one for the bank and one for yourself so either ask for a third copy or make a copy yourself.
Take the forms to one of the banks listed on the form; the nearest is Banco Santander in Avenida Principe de Asturia just up from the Placeta del Convent (old man’s roundabout) but be aware that most banks will only process these applications on a Tuesday along with utility bills, etc. Once you have completed the payment at the bank (who will retain one of the copies), return to the Centro de Salud and they should be able to issue a new card straight away. Keep it safe!