Individual healthcare card (TSI)

What do you need to know?

It is a card that identifies and certifies individuals as users of the public healthcare system (Catalan Helth Service or CatSalut in Catalonia), which allows free access to public healthcare system centres and services and prescriptions subsidised by CatSalut. 

In Catalonia, with the individual healthcare card, everyone is guaranteed healthcare if they meet the necessary requirements.

However, if you do not meet the requirements, there are countries with which agreements are in place in terms of healthcare and other benefits. This may be of particular interest to students. In this case, go to the offices of the Spanish National Social Security Institute (INSS) to find out your status.

It is important to obtain this card, since it is necessary to be able to go to a public healthcare centre or hospital, or to be able to access subsidised prescriptions, independently of having private medical insurance. Since it is considered one of the best public healthcare systems in the world, having access to it makes it all the more worthwhile.

VERY IMPORTANT:

It is individual, personal and non-transferable and, therefore, each family member must have his or her own individual healthcare card, regardless of age.

It is important for your daily life to have this card, as if you fall ill and have to take sick leave, the public healthcare system doctor is the only person authorised to certify it by means of a medical certificate.

In order to request medical certification to be absent from work due to illness and to return to work after illness, you must present your individual healthcare card at your primary healthcare centre.

It is important that the information on your individual healthcare card is correct. Therefore, if, when you first receive your individual healthcare card, you see an error in your personal details, you must report it.

Who does it apply to?

It applies to all individuals registered in the city’s municipal register of residents who have actual and authorised residence in Spain and have the right to access public healthcare. In some cases they must have the certificate of recognition of the right to access public healthcare.

The application must be submitted by the individual in person or by means of a duly accredited representative. However, it should be borne in mind that the application for the first individual healthcare card must be signed by the person applying for it.

What requirements must I meet for this formality?

The individual healthcare card can be requested by individuals who meet any of the following requirements:

  • They are able to prove their status as an insured individual.
  • They are beneficiaries of access to social security healthcare obtained by applying for the status of and recognition as an insured individual or beneficiary of social security healthcare.
  • They are foreign and are not included in the two groups above, but meet the following requirements:
    • They are registered in any municipality of Catalonia, for a continuous period of at least three months, immediately prior to submitting the request for access to healthcare.
    • Can prove that they have an income lower than the minimum insertion income, except in the case of individuals who are considered to be in a special situation, in which case they will not have to prove this. Those considered to be in a special situation are:
      • Pregnant women
      • Minors
      • Those seeking international protection
      • Victims of human trafficking
      • Other

How long is it valid for?

The individual healthcare card has no expiry date and, therefore, CatSalut does not regularly send cards for this reason.

The individual health card only expires in the case of second level CatSalut Access coverage, which must be renewed yearly at the request of the beneficiary, even when the card is only issued for a given period (whether for members of a group with specific agreements with CatSalut or individuals who only expect to be in Catalonia for a certain period of time due to their work).

Can I include my family?

The card is individual, personal and non-transferable, and each family member must have his or her own individual healthcare card, regardless of age.

What do you need to do?

You or a duly accredited representative can carry out the formality in person by going to the primary healthcare centre for the place where you live.

You can also do it online.

You can apply for the individual health card once EU registration or the identity card for foreign nationals has been obtained.

What steps must you follow?

IN PERSON

Prior steps:

  • Before starting the application process, the insured individual giving the right to his or her dependants must have obtained a social security number and have applied for registration in the system.
  • Register in the municipal register of residents of the city of Barcelona.
  • Check that you are entitled to an individual healthcare card. To check this, go to the social security website or go in person to the Spanish National Institute of Social Security (INSS), to request the document that specifies your status.
  • Request an appointment: in order to request recognition of the right to access public healthcare, it is advisable to make an appointment to present the documentation at the social security centre.  To make an appointment, you must go to the Social Security website ("Citizens > Appointments for pensions and other benefits").
  • Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation. You must print the form, fill it out and sign it.

If you wish, instead of downloading the form, you can ask for it, fill it in and sign it when you go directly to the primary healthcare centre, if you are going in person to apply for your individual healthcare card.

  • In addition, you must consult and prepare the documentation that will be required at the primary healthcare centre to carry out the procedure.

Documents:

You can authorise CatSalut to consult your information, held by other bodies, online, or bring the following documents:

  • Completed and signed application form.
  • Specific documentation for insured individuals and beneficiaries of social security who are entitled to all the public benefits and cover offered by CatSalut.
    • Identity document (Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or passport).
    • Certificate of registration in the municipal register with an issue date of less than three months before. (There are councils that offer online consultation, but if your council does not offer this service, you must bring the original certificate.)
    • A photocopy of the document proving membership of a social security scheme (INSS), MUFACE, MUGEJU or ISFAS, of the holder.
  • Specific documentation for foreign nationals who cannot provide evidence of being insured or beneficiaries of social security:
    • Document issued by the Spanish National Social Security Institute (INSS) that proves that you do not have the status of an insured individual or beneficiary of social security.
    • Identity document (identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or passport).
    • Family register or birth certificate, if necessary.
  • Certificate or sworn declaration attesting that your income is less than the minimum insertion income (it is not necessary for people in special situations to present these documents).
  • Go to the primary healthcare centre and submit the documentation.

Remember that you can check which centre you have to go to by consulting the "Centres" section on the CatSalut website.

Receive the card at your home by ordinary post within two to three weeks.

ONLINE:

Anyone resident in Catalonia can apply for their initial individual healthcare card (TSI) without having to travel to their primary healthcare centre (CAP), though they will have to meet the basic requirement of being a registered resident of a Catalan municipality to be able to receive their permanent physical TSI or proof of application for the TSI.

In most cases too, applicants will have to appear as contributors to or beneficiaries of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) or the corresponding mutual society (MUFACE, MUGEJU or ISFAS), in the case of Spanish or foreign nationals registered as employees or self-employed individuals, pensioners, recipients of periodic social security benefits or similar situations and their beneficiaries (minors, spouses, newborn children).

Prior steps:

  • Register in the municipal register of residents of the city of Barcelona.
  • You may not be entitled to an individual healthcare card. To check this, go to the social security website or go in person to the Spanish National Institute of Social Security (INSS), to request the document that specifies your status.
  • Application form: fill in the online application form.
  • Provisional receipt: you will be emailed a provisional receipt with an assigned personal identification code (CIP), which will enable you to access the public healthcare system's centres and services.

By sending your individual healthcare card application you are authorising the Servei Català de la Salut to consult data from other authorities or public organisations for administrative purposes.

Receive the card at your home by ordinary post within two to three weeks.

How long does it take to process the application?

The card will be sent to your home address by ordinary mail within two to three weeks.

What does the application cost?

It is completely free.

Replacement cards cost €10.

Want to know more?

Which body is responsible for the formality?

Catalan Ministry of Health from Catalan Government.

Where can I find more information?

  • If you have any queries and you are in Catalonia, you can call 061 (CatSalut Respon). If you are calling from abroad, you must call 933 038 158, where they will also help you in English.
  • Go to Catalan Health Service (CatSalut) website.

Important linked formalities

Formalities to be carried out prior to submitting the application:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.