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Spanish healthcare changes:
British pensioners must contribute to prescriptions



Due to changes in the Spanish healthcare system, British pensioners now have to contribute towards prescription charges. Photo: Shutterstock


05/07/2012 Spain (KMC) - British pensioners living in Spain are now required to contribute towards their prescription charges as a result of new changes to the public Spanish healthcare system introduced by the Spanish government.

The contribution for state pensioners is set at 10% of the cost, with a cap of as low as 8 euros per month depending on personal income. How much a pensioner must pay will depend on their personal circumstances. The government has not yet released details of how income will be assessed or how payments will be capped. However the table below provides a brief overview of what should be expected.

 

If you need more information you can contact your local health service provider directly, who should be able to give you detailed information on the prescription charges. This system of ‘co-payment’ - paying a percentage of the total cost of medicines - is common among European countries and has been applied to those classed as ‘active’ in Spain i.e. those normally considered to be of working-age, for some time.

Under European Union regulations, the UK pays Spain an average annual cost to provide healthcare for its pensioners. This entitles UK pensioners who are resident in Spain and registered with an S1/E121 form to the same access to state healthcare as would be provided to a Spanish pensioner.

As a result, any healthcare changes that are applicable to Spanish state pensioners are equally applicable to all UK state pensioners, as well as those from other EU/EEA countries. These include any costs that someone may be charged, including those for prescriptions.

The system for co-payment is being managed by each individual autonomous community, so the process may differ slightly between regions.

You can find out more information and check for future updates on changes on public healthcare provision on the UKinSpain website at http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-spain/access-healthcare/healthcare/healthcare-updates .

 

Table showing a likely overview of how income will be assessed and how payments will be capped:

Annual income

Social situation

% of contribution

Capped at:

 Less than €18,000

Working Age

40%

No capping

State Pensioner

10%

€8/month

 Between €18,000 and €100,000

Working Age

50%

No capping

State Pensioner

10%

€18/month

 Over €100,000

Working Age

60%

No capping

State Pensioner

60%

€60/month



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