By Ron Howells •
Published: 26 Apr 2021 • 19:53
UK Pensioners In Spain Struggle With A ‘Failing System’ Amid Soaring Health Costs.
British pensioners living in Spain have been left struggling to pay soaring healthcare costs amid a rush to register on the system under new residency rules. British expats who left it late to register as Spanish residents now face a difficult bureaucratic maze in order to obtain access to state-funded healthcare.
Sue Wilson, chair of the campaign organisation Bremain in Spain has warned that UK pensioners have been hit with hefty medical fees as they await sign-off on their paperwork, known as an S1 form, which would grant them access to the Spanish national health system.
Ms. Wilson said: “Some people are paying for medical care that perhaps they wouldn’t need to had they got their residencia sorted out sooner. It is not just the cost of the healthcare it’s the drugs as well so you know if you take a lot of medicines then that can get pricey. It can be annoying to some degree when we have been telling people for soo long the importance of getting all their paperwork sorted- especially with Brexit.”
‘The system is failing to keep up with the demand’
Ms. Wilson added: “That now through no fault of their own, they are trying but the system is failing to keep up with the demand. It should not affect the vaccine rollout because even if you’re registered for private healthcare you can still register on a temporary basis with your local medical centre, so it shouldn’t affect the vaccine.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “The rights of UK nationals to continue living, working and studying in their EU Member State are protected by law. Anyone legally resident before 1 January 2021 can stay but should register their residence.
“The UK Government has been running a public information campaign across Europe to inform UK nationals about the actions they may need to take to secure their rights and access to services. This includes outreach events, adverts on social media and in newspapers, and support through our network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.”
Dave from Yorkshire: BREXIT has been going on for 5 years and there was a full-year transition what were these people thinking that didn’t sort out their residency? Ignore it and it’ll go away isn’t really a solution is it?
UK Pensions Ranked One of Lowest in World Sparking Debate from Expats
Following the news that the UK has some of the highest levels of pensioner poverty, expats in Spain have been debating whether a state pension is enough to live on. The UK government produced a briefing paper showing how prevalent “pensioner poverty” is across the EU and Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Dominic Raab secures extra £1million into ‘Help’ fund for UK pensioners in Spain
British pensioners in Spain will receive an extra £1million funding to help them cope with the change in the laws since Brexit. The extra funding was announced on Thursday, April 8, by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
The UK’s ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, has said he is “delighted” by the news, which he predicted would come as a huge boost for the hundreds of thousands of Britons who live in the country.
For any UK citizens arriving now, here are some of the differences.
For tourists, including people who have second homes in the country but haven’t taken residency, you can no longer come and go as you please. You can spend up to three months out of every six here.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
Why should the UK help? Everyone knew well in advance what the situation would be post-Brexit. They either couldn’t be asked to get off their backsides or assumed someone would sort it out for them.v Those who were proactive have had no problems.
“British expats who left it late to register as Spanish residents”
We call them illegal, undocumented immigrants in the EU.
4 years after Brexit, they finally worked out they needed to register which means they have probably been illegal immigrants for many years, why should they get heath care if they didn’t register, pay tax here and become legal in Spain like so many of us have done? I bet many voted for it too, a lack of intelligence is no excuse…
It is their fault. Some have been living here for years without registering to avoid all taxes, now the wheels come off they are complaining, tough!
the spanish health system is only under pressure because expats failed to heed advice re registration, despite months of published advice. the ones caught out are probably mostly those who thought registering for residencia and making a tax return didnt apply to them, of which there have been many.
I have lived, worked , paid taxes , on the padron, Spanish driving license, New ID card. Now retired. I get a very good pension and the health system is great. I am happy. Tell the wingers they had plenty of time to sort out the paper work. No simpatico
Totally agree with all the above. Why do papers waste their time with headlines about poverty stricken pensioners etc. when they should be asking why they didn’t do the right thing in the first place? Compares with the nonsense red top “newspapers” in the UK.
The reason a lot of expats didn’t register is because they claim benefits in England, and if they got residence in Spain they would loose their benefits
These people are probably the same ones who complain that immigrants to the U.K. are doing exactly the same that they are doing here!
Most UK pensioner will no be able to leave in Spain any longer, Rising cost, Utilities : Electricity €34.70 a month Gas €24.96, Water €23.45 Service Charges €87.40, IBI €35.49, Propriety Insurance €28.67 and Banking Charges €35.87 Those are minimum monthly charges so how can you leave.?
We have been registered since 2009 as residence in Spain, signed the S1 form, signed on the padron regularly, paid and declared all taxes, but having complied with everything does not remove us from the poverty line with an only income of the UK State Pension of £141/wk out of which we at 84 years have to pay everything. I read the to live in Spain you must have a minimum monthly income of €2,223.
Oh dear,,,not much sympathy here. One big problem in 2020 has been Covid…we only just managed to get to Spain for residency late in the year. Another big problem for older people is that the process is very scary, especially if you don’t speak excellent Spanish, lack education in English law let alone Spanish which seems much more complicated, and lack computer skills too.
So I have some sympathy for the head in the sand, just live quietly (and poorly for U.K. pensioners) attitude…though not if they are Brexiteers!
In all this debate the trap we are in is also never mentioned- that we are not quite old enough to claim our U.K. pension (therefore can’t get an S1) and have had to take out expensive private healthcare to get residency on top of all the other expenses involved.
None of this was due to ignorance, simply due to unnecessary Brexit headaches.
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