How to obtain the Tarjeta Sanitaria in Spain ?

Obtenir la Carte Sanitaire à Valencia

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We saw in our previous article how to get a social security number in Spain. The Tarjeta Sanitaria is the next document you should obtain after relocating to Valencia in order to access the Spanish public health system.

We are going to detail who is entitled to free healthcare in Spain and the different steps to get this document as quickly as possible.


1. What is the Tarjeta Sanitaria in Spain?

The Tarjeta Sanitaria or Public Health Insurance Card is your ID card for the public health insurance in Spain. With this card, you will be assigned to a Centro de Salud (Health Center) where most of the services are free. That’s why we recommend you to get it as soon as possible. 

To obtain the Tarjeta Sanitaria, you will first need to register as a resident in Spain as you will be asked for some documents proving your residency. During this transition period, it is recommended to have the European or Global Health Insurance Card (EHIC/GHIC) or a private insurance.


2. Who can benefit from the public health system in Spain?

You can access the free of charge Spanish public health system if you are :

  • A resident in Spain and employed or self-employed and pay social security contributions
  • Living in Spain and receiving certain state benefits.
  • A child resident in Spain.
  • A pregnant woman resident in Spain.
  • A recently divorced or separated from a partner registered with social security and resident in Spain.
  • Under 26 and studying in Spain.
  • A State pensioner.
  • In possession of the EHIC/GHIC card for any temporary stay.

Spain has some bilateral agreements with some non-EU nations, that allows citizens from these countries to obtain free emergency medical treatment for short periods of time. If you are visiting Spain, it is important to check with your embassy or consulate if you are entitled to. 


3. What documents are needed to apply for the Tarjeta Sanitaria?

To apply for the Tarjeta Sanitaria in Spain, you will need to provide the following documents :


4. Where to apply ?

Once you have collected all the required documents, you can apply for your Tarjeta Sanitaria

  • Online if you have an electronic certificate
  • In person by going to your nearest Centro de Salud (Health Center) with your documentation. You can find it here.

You will then receive your Tarjeta Sanitaria in the post or need to pick it up at the Centro de Salud.


5. How much does the Tarjeta Sanitaria cost?

Applying for the Tarjeta Sanitaria in Spain is free unless the request is due to theft or loss. In this case, you will be charged 3.09 euros.


6. Conclusion

Spain has a high quality healthcare system, consisting of both private and public healthcare. Obtaining the Tarjeta Sanitaria will allow you to access the Spanish public health system free of charge. To get this Health Card, you need to be resident in Spain and to present a number of documents that we have detailed above.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected], we will be more than happy to help you.

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