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Updated: 10/2020

Certificate accrediting the status of insured individual or beneficiary of Spanish public healthcare

Vocabulary
  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

It is FREE

BEFORE ACCESSING HEALTHCARE SERVICES

It can be applied for at ANY TIME

It is applied for ONLINE OR IN PERSON​

What is it?

This is the procedure for obtaining the certificate that recognises the right to health protection and healthcare for Spanish and foreign nationals residing in Spain.

Important information

There are people who, although they do not have the status of insured individuals, have the right to public healthcare. In order to have an individual healthcare card, which gives you access to the public healthcare system, you must apply for a certificate recognising your right to access public healthcare.

There are countries with which agreements are in place in terms of healthcare and other benefits. This may be of particular interest to students. To find out your status, go to the offices of the Spanish National Social Security Institute (INSS).

Recognition of the right to access public healthcare must be requested by:

  • Individuals residing in Spain who are unable to access healthcare through another form of insurance (employees, self-employed individuals, pensioners, recipients of periodic social security benefits and unemployed individuals who have used up their unemployment benefit or subsidy).
  • Individuals who are the beneficiaries of an insured individual:
    • The spouse or unmarried partner of an insured individual
    • The former spouse or legally separated individual. In both cases, he or she must be dependent on the insured individual and entitled to compulsory maintenance payments
    • The descendant, or similar, of the insured individual or his or her spouse, or of his or her former dependent spouse or unmarried partner. In both cases, he or she must be dependent on the insured individual and be under 26 years of age or, if over that age, have a recognised disability to a degree greater than or equal to 65%.
  • It must also be used to request the transfer of beneficiaries from one insured individual to another.

You can also consult the Social Security website with regard to healthcare (available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state).

Why is this formality important?

It is essential to complete it in order to obtain the individual healthcare card, if you do not have the status of insured individual. With this card you will be able to go to the health centre or hospital of the public healthcare system. You can also access subsidised prescriptions, regardless of whether or not you have private 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.

Who does it apply to?

It applies to people who do not have the status of insured individual or beneficiary of social security. This group includes the following:

  • Those who are beneficiaries of an insured individual (spouse and children who are minors, for example).
  • Those wishing to request the transfer of beneficiaries from one insured individual to another.
  • Foreign nationals hired in Spain who wish to access the Spanish social security healthcare system for the first time.

To find out the details of the individuals included in each group, consult the Social Security website (available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state)

Who should apply for it?

The application must be submitted by the citizen in person.

What requirements must be met?

In order to be a beneficiary, the following requirements must be met:

  • Not having the status of a beneficiary of Spanish healthcare benefits.
  • Having authorised and actual residence in Spain.
    • This requirement does not apply to individuals who move to Spain temporarily.
Which body is responsible for the formality?
What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • It is important to know that the right to access public healthcare, both for the insured individual and for his or her dependants, begins on the day that he or she registers with the social security system and is effective from the day following that on which the person is registered with the relevant system.
  • The extinction of the right occurs when the conditions required to be an insured individual or a beneficiary of the right are lost, or in the event of death.
  • Once the right to healthcare has become effective, you can request the issuance of the individual healthcare card to access healthcare.
  • The inclusion of false data and the fraudulent obtaining of benefits may constitute a criminal offence.
  • You should be aware that the application was initially designed to be submitted on paper to the Provincial Directorate of the Spanish National Social Security Institute, and, therefore, you may find references that do not relate to the electronic method.
What other linked formalities should you know about?

 

What do you need to do?

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the body responsible for this procedure is giving priority to online rather than in-person procedures, with the latter being used only in exceptional cases.

Online
In person

What steps must you take to apply for recognition of the right to access public healthcare?

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The insured individual must obtain the social security number and registration

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.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining a social security number and the procedure for registering with the social security system, consult the information on those formalities, which contains all the details on how to obtain them.

Next
Obtain the digital certificate

In order to apply online, you must first obtain a digital certificate.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining the digital certificate, consult the information on that formality, which contains all the details on how to obtain it.

Next
Go to the website

Once you have obtained the digital certificate, you can use the Social Security website.

Select the option "Citizen > Healthcare > Healthcare. Application for recognition of the right to healthcare" in order to be able to start the application.

The information is available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state.

Next
Fill in the standard application form and attach the required documentation

Once you have accessed the procedure on the website, follow the steps indicated and provide all the information and documentation requested.

You must obtain and fill in the application form, and attach a copy of the documents detailed in the instructions.

You must have software that allows you to complete the application and save it in order to attach it.

Consult the relevant Social Security website for more information and download the form that relates to you.

The information is available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state. The form, on the other hand, is available in Spanish.

It is advisable to have prepared certain details and documents that may be required during the application
  • Both the insured individuals and, where applicable, the beneficiaries for whom this application is being processed must submit the following documents:
  • Other situations depending on the circumstances:
    • In the case of the spouse:
      • Family register or marriage registration certificate.
    • In the case of the unmarried partner:
      • A certificate of registration in the register of the autonomous community or locality of residence or proof of constitution of the partnership by means of a public deed.
    • In the case of the ex-spouse or legally separated partner:
      • Separation or divorce ruling.
      • Document recognising the right to receive compensatory maintenance.
    • In the case of descendants:
      • Family book or birth certificate to provide evidence of the relationship with the insured individual or his/her spouse, dependent ex-spouse or unmarried partner.
      • For children under three months of age, it is not necessary to present this documentation, since the Register Office will send the birth and social security registration data to the Spanish National Social Security Institute.
    • In the case of beneficiaries or equivalent individuals over 26 years of age with a degree of disability equal to or greater than 65%:
      • Certificate of recognition of the degree of disability.
    • In the case of individuals under legal guardianship or in foster care:
      • Document issued by the competent authority attesting to the status of the individual as a minor under the legal guardianship of the insured individual, his/her spouse, former dependent spouse or unmarried partner.
    • In the case of the brother or sister of the insured individual:
      • Family register or equivalent document attesting to the status of the individual as the brother or sister of the insured individual.

The log-in session is limited in time. Therefore, if it expires while you are completing the application, you will need to restart it and finish any steps you have pending.

The total size of the documentation to be attached cannot exceed 5 MB.

Next
Obtain the certificate of recognition of the right to healthcare

Once the formality has been completed, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt (ZIP) consisting of the receipt for the application in PDF format and the signature of the server, which guarantees that the transaction has been carried out correctly.

If you do not receive the confirmation message or, as the case may be, you receive an error or transmission failure message, you will have to submit the documentation later or by other means.

The Spanish National Social Security Institute will send the outcome of the request to the address of the interested party. The procedure, once initiated, must be decided and notified within thirty days of the date on which the application was registered. Where this period has elapsed without notification of the outcome being received, you can take it that your application has been rejected.

Next
Apply for the individual healthcare card

Once you have obtained recognition of your right to access public healthcare, you can apply for your individual healthcare card.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining the card, consult the information on the formality, which contains all the details on how to obtain it.

What steps must you take to apply for recognition of the right to access public healthcare?

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The insured individual must obtain the social security number and registration

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.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining a social security number and the procedure for registering with the social security system, consult the information on those formalities, which contains all the details on how to obtain them.

Next
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 > Appointment for pensions and other benefits").

The website for making an appointment is available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state.

Next
Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation

You must obtain and complete the application form to apply for recognition of the right to healthcare.

Consult the relevant Social Security website for more information and download the form that relates to you.

The information is available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state. The form, on the other hand, is available in Spanish.

Once you have completed the form, and before starting the application, consult and prepare the documentation that you will be asked for to obtain the certificate of recognition.

Fill in the standard application form and attach the required documentation
  • Both the insured individuals and, where applicable, the beneficiaries for whom this application is being processed must submit the following documents:
  • Additionally, insured persons must present:
    • In the case of persons from an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, or countries with bilateral agreements (Andorra, Brazil, Chile, Morocco, Peru or Tunisia):
      • A certificate issued by the competent institution of the country of origin certifying that the right to the provision of healthcare should not be exported.
    • Other situations depending on the circumstances:
      • In the case of the spouse:
    • Family register or marriage registration certificate
      • In the case of the unmarried partner
      • A certificate of registration in the register of the autonomous community or locality of residence or proof of constitution of the partnership by means of a public deed.
    • In the case of the ex-spouse or legally separated partner
      • Separation or divorce ruling.
      • Document recognising the right to receive compensatory maintenance.
    • In the case of descendants
      • Family book or birth certificate to provide evidence of the relationship with the insured individual or his/her spouse, dependent ex-spouse or unmarried partner.
    • For children under three months of age, it is not necessary to present this documentation, since the Register Office will send the birth and social security registration data to the Spanish National Social Security Institute.
      • In the case of beneficiaries or equivalent individuals over 26 years of age with a degree of disability equal to or greater than 65%:
    • Certificate of recognition of the degree of disability
      • In the case of individuals under legal guardianship or in foster care:
Next
Go to the place indicated and submit the documentation

Go to the place indicated in the appointment to submit the documentation. The documentation necessary is detailed in the first section of the procedure ("1. Fill in the standard application form and gather the required documentation > Documentation”).

Consult the website to find out which Social Security offices are available.

Next
Obtain the certificate of recognition of the right to healthcare

The procedure, once initiated, must be decided and notified within thirty days of the date on which the application was registered. However, they usually issue the certificate on the spot.

Where that period has elapsed without you having received notification of the outcome, you can take it that your application has been rejected and request that a decision be issued.

Next
Apply for the individual healthcare card

Once you have obtained recognition of your right to access public healthcare, you can apply for your individual healthcare card.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining the card, consult the information on the formality, which contains all the details on how to obtain it.

Important information

Formalities tend to change fairly frequently. That is why it is only the regulations in force that apply when you carry out the formality in question.