Convenio Especial for healthcare

As I said in the recent post about the FCO & Healthcare information evening (link), there is now a convenio especial for British residents in Spain. This is a pay-in scheme whereby those of working age without health cover of any other sort can buy state insurance for €60 a month The scheme is being run by the Spanish government, and is gradually being rolled out throughout the autonomous regions. All information on its application in the Canaries is available from the Canarian government HERE.

Please note that the system does not provide any rights to subsidised prescriptions, nor to an EHIC, so is neither a cheap nor useful alternative to getting proper healthcare and medical cover in other ways if at all possible. It is also only available to those who are legal residents of over a year’s standing (on a local authority padron as well as a Registro) so is not available for newcomers. This is all I know, so for further information, please click on the Canarian government link above.


  1. Morning Janet, is the convenio especial fir health still available in Tenerife? If it is, how and where can it be applied for? If you have changed address and therefore padron registration, is the one year residence requirement covered by previous addresses within the Canary Islands? Thanks.

    1. Author

      The information is as in the post above, Your question should be answered by the details in the Government pages that I gave the link for in the post. I’m afraid that it’s not possible for me to supply any information beyond that provided by the Government.

  2. Is the Convenio Especial still operating in Tenerife / Canary Islands following the introduction of the Universal Health Care Law of July 2018?
    If not what do you have to do to ensure you are covered by the new law?

    1. Author

      yes the convenio is still operating. Under universal healthcare legislation, the entitled are those who have been legally registered here since 2012, have an annual income of less than €100,000, and who have no entitlement to any healthcare anywhere else. The British Government has a Healthcare in Spain website HERE (set to “how to access …”).

  3. Thought I would share this with you Janet for information. We are early retirees and want to join the convenio especial as although we have private insurance, my husband’s health is such that he has a number of exclusions that he may need help with. Our gestor rang me this morning to say he had been told he need a form, stamped and signed, from the NHS to declare that we are no longer eligible for UK healthcare. Googled about it all, and noticed that the Brits in Spain Facebook page had posted something about health care today so contacted them. They posted a very helpful reply which I’ve forwarded to my gestor, although how he then progresses things we shall see! This is the reply from the Embassy:

    Brits in Spain Hi Hilary this is what the Healthcare Team say: This document is called a Legislation Letter and it is issued by the DWP, not the NHS. However they only issue it for Spanish Social Security purposes and not the Convenio I am afraid. As you have seen from other people’s comments, it should be possible to register for the Convenio without this document.

    Hope this adds to your ever increasing resource/data base! Best wishes

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