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Choosing a health insurance scheme for Spain

Choosing choice

Initially, decide whether to take out international health insurance or local insurance in Spain.  Although Spanish insurance is usually the cheaper option, it won't give you such broad cover as an international health insurance.  In Spain, medical staff/doctors prefer dealing with the larger, well known insurance companies and with an unknown insurer you could find yourself paying up front for your appointment and recovering the costs later. 


Policies can be expensive and they get more expensive the older you are, so compare them very carefully, assess your priorities and needs and get confirmation about what is and isn't included

How to decide which scheme is right for you


Decide what you need and look at the benefits the companies are offering.  Some policies may cover you just for emergencies, while others are there for more 'everyday' things like dental treatment or maternity care.  The excess is the first part you pay of any claim and the higher the excess amount, the cheaper the premium. 


Many international healthcare plans will exclude treatment for chronic conditions like cancers, diabetes and eczema (health problems which persist and need ongoing healthcare, as opposed to acute conditions which can potentially be treated and cured).  The cost of your insurance premium will be much lower if you have a healthcare plan without cover for chronic conditions, but each individual situation needs careful consideration.  I


f you take out insurance excluding chronic conditions, you live in Spain and there is no NHS to provide treatment if it becomes necessary, you could end up with a hefty bill should you ever need treatment for a chronic condition.

Question mark

Questions to ask before selecting a medical insurance policy for Spain


  • Do you want to take out insurance with a Spanish insurer, or an expatriate insurance policy which offers international cover

  • What can you afford and what benefits do you most want and need?  Make sure you understand what is not covered as well as what is.

  • Ask about the different underwriting forms (eg, fully medically underwritten or moratorium policies), which will depend on personal circumstances - speaking to an expert will help you to decide which is right for you.

  • Do you want "budget" hospital-only cover for acute conditions or "comprehensive", which includes out-patient treatments and consultations? 

  • What don't you want insurance cover for? (for example repatriation/maternity). 

  • Would you like access to a 24-hour multilingual helpline?  (Ask if the insurer has an international assistance company to handle your medical needs for you and be available at any time for medical advice).

  • Do you wish to include cover for accidents and injuries?

  • Do you want to be able to choose where you are treated?  For example, you may be looking for portability - cover that can be continued in another country if you move without changing or finding a new policy.

  • How quickly do claims get handled?  Find out how many days it will take to settle your claim, as this can range from seven days to much more, depending on the provider.


Get a quote for health insurance in Spain

You can "Get a Quote" for expatriate and international health insurane in Spain by completing our enquiry form. Your enquiry will be submitted to up to three providers of plans for Spanish residents.

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