From April 1st 2008, British nationals who permanently reside in Spain will have to present the Spanish equivalent of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they require medical treatment whilst visiting the UK or any other EU member state.
This applies to UK nationals who either: Live in Spain and make Spanish Social Security contributions or Live in Spain and receive healthcare while receiving a state pension or long term incapacity benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions through the registration of an E121.
Failure to present the Spanish EHIC could result in you being considered as a private patient, which may mean you are charged for your treatment.
The Spanish equivalent of the EHIC is called la Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea and can be applied for at your local Spanish social security office (INSS). These cards have to be renewed annually.
(UK nationals who use an E106 do not need to apply for the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea. They can continue to use their UK EHIC.)
For more information, visit www.dh.gov.uk/travellers or call 00 44 191 2181999