By Pete Woodall
(Woody’s Los Boliches)
THE EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), issued by the British healthcare system to British pensioners resident abroad, cannot be renewed online. That service is reserved for residents of the UK only.
To renew a British EHIC from Spain call 0044 191 218 1999, Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm, and be sure to press option #1. DWP phone lines are very busy so be prepared to hold.
Applicants should have their national insurance or national health number to hand and any change of address details, as the operator will arrange to forward a form to that address which must be filled in and returned to the UK.
Once the process has been completed, a new medical card will be sent through the mail.
This whole process can take up to one month.
The EHIC card is for free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals when temporarily outside their own country or usual country of residence.
It is free and entitles the holder to the same state medical care, under the same conditions, as would be provided to a national or resident of the country they are in.
In some EU/EAA countries there may be a partial payment charge for this which is generally no longer reimbursable.
Anyone resident and working in Spain needs to apply for their EHIC card from their local Spanish social security office or online at http://www.seg-social.es. The information is available in Spanish, English and other languages. Residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible for an EHIC