If you are a resident in Spain and need healthcare these are the routes that you need to follow:
Changes have been made in 2018 – this page has been updated December 2018
1. By being employed (officially) in Spain and paying Spanish national insurance contributions. Dependants of the employed person are also covered.
1(a). All residents in Spain who have official residency (and registered before 24th April 2012) AND are registered on the padron of the Town Hall in which they live are now entitled to healthcare in Spain. The person must have an income of less than €100,000 per annum (yes, that much!)
** See below re change in law.
2. Persons of pensionable age will be covered by forms issued by the Department of Work and Pensions in the UK. These forms have to be registered with the INSS (Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social), then persons are registered in the Spanish system.
A Social Security Health card is issued in Spain to entitled persons:
3. Persons receiving incapacity benefit or some other benefits from the UK may be entitled to register for treatment in Spain. Contact the DWP in Newcastle to check out for your own individual circumstances.
** UPDATE 2018: Very good news for anyone living in Spain is that healthcare is now available free of charge to everyone.
To apply to the UK for a European Health Insurance card, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, if for some reason you cannot get entitlement, then consider private health insurance, with a company such as Sanitas.