January 11, 2016
If you are making the move to Spain but have already retired and are not receiving a pension from the Spanish state, nor do you intend to get back into employment in the country again any time soon, unfortunately you might not qualify for Social Security (public) healthcare. In some regions, you can register for a government-run scheme called the convenio especial, which provides social security cover for a basic monthly fee. For further information on who is eligible, how to apply, and what it offers, check out their website here.
To apply for Spanish residency, you will need to prove that you have taken out health insurance. If due to these circumstances, or any others, including the option of complementing Social Security in order to cut down waiting periods and receive personalised assistance, you are thinking of taking out private health insurance, check out our guide and learn how to choose the best private health insurance in Spain for expats.
Moving to a new country is and of itself a minefield for almost everyone, and when healthcare comes into play, even more so. After all, we grow up and become accustomed to a certain system or method in our home town or city, and are all of a sudden thrust into a new way of working, and often in a new language or with different types of cover. If you’re in need of further information, this article aims to offer a go-to resource for all things private healthcare-related, so save it and come back to it to resolve all our queries.
The ins and outs of choosing the best private health insurance in Spain for expats
Health insurance should ideally be tailored to your needs, and as an expat this will no doubt make you feel as protected as possible in that respect. If you want to combine basic healthcare with additional services, there is a wide range of health insurance policies you can choose from. While the National Health Service in Spain is one of the best in the world, it is important to remember that in Spain, Social Security waiting periods can be considerably long, and you will be assigned a GP from your local medical centre over which you will have no choice.
If you require regular treatment for a non-critical condition, you will no doubt want to opt for a policy that offers shorter waiting times to ensure you’re receiving the timely and necessary treatment. To find out more about the most common health problems and whether or not they will be included in your cover, check out this article. As an expat, language barriers can certainly come into play, especially in a public healthcare setting, so if you would prefer to rule out that possibility and see a doctor who speaks your language, or perhaps a doctor, whoever you want doesn’t matter what your reasons are, private healthcare will be a better option. And best of all, going down the private insurance route gives you the freedom to choose the type of specialist you want.
Your local embassy can usually provide you with lists of English-speaking doctors.
To copay or not to copay, that is the question
A key factor that comes into play when choosing insurance is the inclusion of copayments (a fixed amount for a covered service, paid by the insured person to the insurance company before receiving the service. Consequently, the monthly premium is lower for the insured) and whether or not they’re in line with what you’re looking for. Opting for a policy with or without copayments will essentially depend on your use of the insurance. If you’re planning to squeeze the most out of your insurance and use it on a regular basis, it might not be worth your while taking out a copay policy; however, if you’re sure you won’t be using your insurance that often, opting for a copay policy with a lower monthly premium might be right up your street.
Your health is your wealth, no matter what the cost
We’ve all heard the expression “your health is your wealth” at some stage of our lives, and it couldn’t be any more true when it comes to adjusting to your new life as an expat in a different country. This change can all too often come accompanied by mental strain, including stress, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. In order for you to fully adapt to and immerse yourself in your new life, these mental hiccups become a hindrance and we tend to need help in one way or another to overcome them. Despite the perhaps now outdated stigma of seeking psychological care in Europe -as opposed to for example, in the US- it has now in fact become pretty common and far less stigmatised in many European countries. For some extra on the links between psychology and health, check out this post.
In continuation of the previous section regarding copayments, one of the main deterrents that is often detected among those on the hunt for insurance is the inclusion of certain treatments and whether or not they require an extra cost. The majority of health insurance policies in Spain provide cover for psychology treatment but with some sort of level of copayment scheme. This may imply that a staggered option is in place, i.e., the first several sessions are free, and the following are subject to a copay; or that all psychology sessions are subject to a certain copayment. At Caser Expat Insurance, there are several options available, including plans that offer 20 free sessions or 15 free sessions and then charge €8 for all subsequent sessions. This tends to be the norm for all insurers in Spain, but if you want a closer look at all our plans to find the right one for you, check out our comparison table here.
Protection for you and your family
If you’ve just moved here with your family or are planning to start a new one, choosing the right private health insurance in Spain is crucial and can often be tricky. You want to make sure that the birth runs as smoothly and comfortably as possible with the peace of mind of knowing that you and your newborn will be protected. Check out this article for more info on giving birth in your new expat home: Spain. In the same vein, if you’ve upped and left your country of origin with your family and just moved to Spain, it is worth weighing up the options of family healthcare plans, which can often be not only effective in terms of cost, but also in terms of coverage for the entire family. To get more on the ins and outs of family health insurance plans and on why it makes sense to take a policy out for you and your loved ones, click here.
Tailored to you
Expat? Check! Sporty? Check! Student? Check! That’s the great thing about the best private health insurance in Spain - it can be tailored to your current situation, no matter what it is, offering the right amount or type of cover for you. If you are an athlete or play sports regularly, you are naturally at risk of suffering injuries, so undergoing a medical assessment prior to taking out insurance is a must. It will determine the level of cover you require, any restrictions that are in place, as well as the degree of exercise you can do. If you fall into this category and are wondering what the best health insurance in Spain you can take out, check out this post for all the ins and outs.
Spain is one of the hottest destinations not only for expats in search of fresh beginnings, but also for international students looking to broaden their horizons as part of study programs, including Erasmus. Depending on your country of origin and the duration of your stay, you may be required, or at least recommended, to take out specific insurance for students. When it comes to requesting a visa, taking out a health insurance policy will indeed be a prerequisite and proof that you are sufficiently covered for the length of your stay will be required. Got any questions in this regard? Our article on student health insurance in Spain has you covered.
Private healthcare enables you to take out insurance that is tailored exactly to your needs, including insurance packages designed for families, young couples wishing to start a family, or even comprehensive plans for anyone who doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. Naturally, this goes hand in hand with the price point - cheaper insurance often provides more basic cover, while higher prices in general ensure more end-to-end cover. All you need to do is find the balance between cost and quality, making sure your needs are met at an affordable price for you. Navigating the world of private healthcare can all too often seem daunting, but don’t worry - we bring you up to speed in this post on the average cost of private health insurance in Spain, so you know exactly what to expect.
Healthcare options with Caser Expat Insurance
Caser Expat Insurance offers a wide range of insurance packages that cover all of the circumstances above.
If you’re inexperienced when it comes to health insurance and need to stick to a certain budget in terms of your premium, Inicia could be the package that works best for you. With affordable premiums and balanced copayments, it’s the perfect option for first-time policyholders, costing from €12,84/month and offering direct access to medical specialists without a prior prescription, as well as €100 in dental expenses.
The public health system in Spain is often rated among the best in the world, but logically comes with its downfalls, namely long waiting lists for specialist appointments. To overcome this hurdle without spending a fortune is to take a policy that works as a complement to Social Security insurance, which merges the best of both worlds. In this category, Caser Expat Insurance offers Médica, serves as a supplement to public healthcare. With the first ten copayments free of charge per insured person per year, and access to a range of specialist services, this plan is perfect for the whole family at just €79,77/month.
If you’re a young expat, lead an active life and are on the hunt for extensive coverage on a pay-as-you-go basis, Activa is the perfect option. From just €35,5/month and with access to medical specialists, diagnostic tests and up to €100 in dental treatments, this plan will have you covered. For all the ins and outs about the cover you’ll get with Activa insurance, click here.
When you’ve got a family, their health and safety come first, so naturally you want the best coverage and preferably in the same package. This is where Integral insurance plan comes in handy. With few copayments and the first 10 free of charge per insured party per year, Integral offers a range of cover, including 20 psychology sessions per year and a dental add-on that offers 14 free basic services and a price cap on other services, making sure you and your family’s health and dental care are in tip top shape.
If you’re on the hunt for a comprehensive insurance with dental cover and zero copayments, no extra costs and complete peace of mind, Adapta + Sonrisa Esencial could be the insurance plan for you. It not only offers dental perks for the whole family, and no copayments, this plan is perfect to merge extensive health insurance with comprehensive dental insurance. Read about the top 10 advantages of Adapta insurance in this blog post.
Caser Expat Insurance also offers the Prestigio package, a premium insurance for expats that need a comprehensive healthcare plan that ensures peace of mind and personalised assistance. On top of Caser Expat Insurance Salud’s extensive medical staff, you can access any specialist, no matter where you are in the world, and choose your primary care doctor. If that’s not enough, you can also choose your children’s doctor and the hospital where you want to receive treatment. After you initially take care of the expenses, we will reimburse you with up to 90% of the costs, with no copayments required. Prestigio goes hand in hand with the freedom to decide. Worldwide cover at your fingertips. Can’t get much better than that, can it?
It’s clear that choosing the best health insurance in Spain that ticks all your boxes can be a tricky affair, but the good news is that there is something for everyone, no matter what your individual situation is. Want to look after not your health but that of your family in one package? You’re covered! Coming to study in Spain and need to take out insurance to qualify for a visa? You’re covered. You’re young and active and are on the hunt for insurance tailored to your lifestyle? You guessed it - you’re also covered. The key is to weigh up your needs and preferences before making a decision, and speak to an agent before taking the plunge - they will guide you throughout the process and advise you on the available options and which one fits your bill. If you want to see the differences between private health insurance and public healthcare in Spain, download the free guide below: