7 Dec, 2011 @ 16:11
1 min read

No more health card fraud in the Balearics

THE Balearic Islands are clamping down on foreigners claiming free health care in Spain.

Those unable to produce a European Health Insurance Card at the time of treatment will now be given 30 days to either present one or pay their medical fees.

Health boss Juan Jose Bestard estimates a loss of between six and eight million euros a year through fraudulent claims – such as the sharing of health cards – and says Spain ‘cannot attend to everyone for free’.

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. That still doesn’t stop the abuse of the EHIC by expats who live in Spain and just keep renewing them via an address in the UK, even though they’ve lived here for ages – that would save Spain & the UK money as the worst culprits probably aren’t paying in either country…..

  2. Much sympathy for the Spanish taxpayer regarding this fiddle. But when we take travel insurance out for Spain, we are told that it will be more expensive than other countries, because claims made by Spanish health authorities are always the highest for any procedure that takes place. Swings and roundabouts ?

  3. If there was a proper reciprocal healthcare arrangement between the UK and other EU countries, such as Spain, this problem wouldn’t arise. UK residents of Spain should reasonably expect ongoing healthcare here (to be paid for either by the UK – after all we paid in for 30 years or more through our NI contributions – or by the Spanish system) and not have to wait until we are old age pensioners, as is currently the case. If I’m not mistaken, an EU citizen, eg a
    Spaniard, who moves to reside in the UK automatically gets free health care there – paid for by the UK.

  4. Mr. Whitelocks, the big question from your interesting (Chu-Chu) train of thought is:

    “…… the UK and other EU countries, such as Spain,”

    makes me wonder …… isn’t the UK a EU country, such as Spain eg. ?

    just a thought but maybe this kind of Island thinking is a big part of the EU problems – not solutions !

  5. There are also other problems in the E.U.
    In Southern Ireland even the Irish have to pay for treatment including Doctors appointments and I expect that is similar in other EU countries. As long as there is no one Government for Europe and all diffferent systems then these problems will arise. BTW, I don’t want one Government.

    If the UK takes all the freeloaders as we do, then the EU should be happy to accept some of ours!! Hopefully you can see the funny side of that.

  6. Bob’s Hope – perhaps you should have read my words more carefully. I actually did deliberately write: “…… the UK and OTHER EU countries, such as Spain,”

    The “other” means that I include the UK as an EU country. I’m afraid I’m one of those old liberal europhile farts that regards the EU with some affection, despite its current problems, and I go out of my way to make sure I am inclusive when I talk or write about the UK in relation to Europe.

    I am certainly NOT guilty of “Island thinking”! You’ll be accusing me of reading the Daily Mail or Telegraph next!

  7. Paul Whitelock,
    I thought everybody knew that when an EU resident moves to another EU country and registers with the local health service they automatically inform that person’s own health system who pay a set amount (the amount depends on the country of that person) each year.

  8. Stuart. I wish you were right, but I fear you are not.
    I’ve carried out extensive research on this topic: online, on the telephone with the Overseas Healthcare Team at the UK Pensions Service in Newcastle and face to face with Seguridad Social staff here. The only foreign EU citizens entitled to free health care in Spain are those who are in receipt of their STATE pension,ie over 65, and younger folk who have retired here, do not work, are not in receipt of any UK benefits and have paid their full UK NI contributions in the two years prior to emigrating. Other than that you have to pay, either as an autónomo, if you’re working, or by buying private heath insurance.

  9. Paul,
    I should have stated the pension age requirement but it still is’nt free, your own country has to pay.

    I’m sure there are many Brits fiddling the system in Spain but it’s as nothing compared to what’s happening in the UK – family members of immigrants flying in and demanding treatment and benefits.

  10. Yes, I realise the UK has to pay, but only if you’re in receipt of your state pension or if you qualify as a younger person as per my previous post.

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