Moving to Spain for retirement is a common goal for British citizens. Many people dream of moving for the warm climate and slower pace of living. Since Brexit on January 31st 2020, there are some changes to keep in mind for people hoping to move to Spain for retirement. We’re looking at them more closely here. The S1 form is a vital document for people moving to Spain and relates to your healthcare in the country. Below we’ll explore:
- What is the S1 form?
- How to get an S1 form in Spain
- What happens after you get your S1 form?
- The Impact of Brexit on Expat Healthcare
- Retiring to Spain
Figures suggest as many as 121,00 Brits over retirement age are living in Spain. While worrying about your health isn’t something you want to be stressed about, it is vital to have adequate healthcare in place. The S1 form is an integral part of this for those of retirement age already living in Spain.
What is the S1 form?
The S1 form is an official document that states you are entitled to state healthcare in qualifying EU countries including Spain. The form tells the EU country that the UK government will cover your healthcare costs while in their country. The S1 form states you have coverage for the cost of doctor appointments, hospital treatment and prescriptions in Spain and the eligibility requirements are:
- You must be of retirement age
- You must be eligible to receive the UK state pension
- Spain must be your main country of residence
- You cannot use the S1 form if you receive a Spanish state pension
The S1 form is particularly important for retirees in Spain. Free-state healthcare in Spain is only available to people in employment or self-employment for Spanish citizens so retirees need to access the state-funded healthcare available via the UK government.
Without access to free healthcare via the S1 form, retirees will need to consider health insurance.
How to get an S1 form in Spain
British expats retiring in Spain can get an S1 form quite easily. Follow these steps:
1. Check your eligibility
You can check whether you are eligible for the S1 form by visiting the UK government website. There is plenty of helpful information on their website to help British expats in Spain.
2. Request your application
Once you confirm you are eligible, you can request an application form from the NHS Overseas Healthcare service. The information and contact details for this service are also available via the UK government’s website.
3. Complete your form
Once you receive your form you can simply complete it. You then need to register it at your local INSS office in Spain. Alternatively you can register it on the INSS online portal.
What happens after you submit your S1 form?
Once you have registered your application you should soon receive your Spanish social security number in the post. You can take your number along with you to your local healthcare provider and register for the services you need. When you register with the healthcare practice you should be issued with a medical card you can present whenever you have a doctor’s appointment or need to visit a pharmacy or hospital.
The Impact of Brexit on Expat Healthcare in Spain
From 1st January 2021 new rules have existed between the United Kingdom and member states of the European Union. The UK is no longer in the EU and therefore relations between the two are different in many ways. However, rules were put in place to support those already living abroad when Brexit took place.
The Withdrawal Agreement produced as part of the Brexit deal states that any British expatriates living in Spain before 31st December 2020 will maintain their rights in terms of residence, study, work and social security, including healthcare. British expatriates who have been living in Spain since before 31st December 2020 will retain their right to medical assistance. Retirees from the UK in Spain can access the Spanish public health system in the same way as Spanish citizens, provided they’ve made the correct application with the S1 form.
Retiring to Spain
Retiring to Spain is hugely popular with Brits and many other nationalities too, but it is important to get your finances in order and understand your rights to social security and healthcare, before making the move. The added complexities of Brexit make it important to check your rights even more closely.
Whether you’re retiring to Spain, visiting the country or have family in the area, Small World makes it easy to send money. We offer both easy bank deposits and anywhere pickup services at many locations across the country.