What the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover you for – and what it won’t

The Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives travellers who are Spanish citizens’, access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a short-term
stay in any of the 28 EU countries as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Short-term travellers to these countries receive healthcare under the same conditions and at the same cost (which is free in some countries) as citizens in that country.

However, the European Health Insurance Card is not an alternative to comprehensive travel insurance as:

  • it does not cover any private healthcare or treatment at private healthcare facilities
  • it does not cover repatriation costs or return flights to Spain
  • it does not cover your costs for lost or stolen property,
  • it does not cover your costs if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment,
  • it does not cover costs if you have to cancel your trip
  • it does not guarantee free services. As each country’s healthcare system is different, services that cost nothing in Spain might not be free in another country.

Where do I get it?

Online, through the Electronic Office of the Social Security office (sede.seg-social.gob.es), it is not necessary to have digital certificate to access this service.

In person, at any of the Service Centers and Social Security Information (CAISS) by making an appointment to your chosen CAISS, or the Provincial or Local Offices of the Social Marine Institute (ISM), when you need to provide documentation to verify your right to health benefits.

How long does is the TSE valid for?

The TSE is valid for two years, then a holder must reapply.

Who can apply for a TSE?

Persons and their dependents who meet the requirements of Spanish legislation and the Community Regulations on Social Security.

More information

For further information and details of how to apply for the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea visit