Health Insurance in Spain – Important Points to Consider
If you are planning to move or go on a holiday in Spain or any other country than your homeland, you need to know a lot about the systems there, like sources of income, language, education system if you have children, crime rate and efficiency of police, eating habits, and many more. But the most important of all is healthcare. Yours and your family’s health is a primary factor to get information about before you move to the new country and so, finding about health insurance in Spain should be your first task.
Who is Entitled?
If you have registered to work in Spain and contribute to national insurance, you can avail state-run healthcare just like a Spanish national. For more information regarding state-run healthcare, visit your local TGSS office.
If you have registered as a resident in Spain prior to 24th April 2012, earn less than €100,000 per year and have no healthcare cover through any other means, talk to your local INSS office to register for healthcare as a resident in Spain.
Public Health Insurance
If you have no healthcare cover for state-run healthcare through any other means, the Spanish regional authorities provide a special pay-in scheme called convenio especial. This is a public healthcare insurance scheme available all over the country where you pay a monthly fee so as to access state-run healthcare. This scheme is managed by the respective autonomous region. Policy holders, who include children too, pay individually for accessing public healthcare, regardless to pre-existing conditions, anywhere in the country.
The basic monthly amount to be paid is €60 for those under 65 and €157 for those who are 65 and above. But prescriptions are not subsidized at this fee; therefore you have to pay 100% of the prescription costs. This type of cover doesn’t provide the holder the right to a Spanish EHIC at present. The scheme is available now in Valencia, Castilla y Leon and Galicia.
European and Non-European Visitors
If you are a European visitor to Spain below retirement age, come for a short holiday, you are entitled to free or discounted emergency medical treatments at all public healthcare centers and hospitals after producing a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) of your home country. Mostly the treatment is equivalent to that which the Spanish nationals get, but this can vary as per the level of public healthcare service in your own country, so you should check it before leaving. The EHIC has replaced many other healthcare forms and has been standardized for Europe. To obtain it, you just have to send off for it before leaving your home country. Or you can also get it delivered at your home address by calling the concerned office.
If you require to seek emergency medical treatment during your holiday in Spain, don’t forget to produce your EHIC right after arrival, at the medical center. This is a reciprocal agreement and covers you only for medical emergencies within the state sector and does not include repatriation due to ill health. So, remember that EHIC is not an alternative to private medical insurance.
If you are a non-European visitor on holiday to or living in Spain, you will most likely have to prove that you have adequate medical insurance before you are issued a visa granting you an entry in the country. So, it is highly possible that a legal non-European visitor to the country is not covered by at least some type of healthcare provision. However, all Spanish state hospitals are bound to offer vital primary healthcare to any patient who is admitted to hospital in life-threatening condition or ailment, regardless to their ability to pay.