Healthcare is an essential facet of your everyday life, no matter what country you’re from or what country you’re living in. As an American, you are probably acutely aware of potential healthcare costs abroad due to the way the healthcare system in the United States is set up.
However, many other countries in the world, including Spain, have a different healthcare system than what you might be used to back home. This article will discuss everything you need to know about healthcare in Spain for US citizens.
What types of healthcare systems exist in Spain?
Spain has both public and private healthcare systems. Common services include: general and specialized medicine, maternity and family planning, geriatric care, dental care, and surgical care, among others. Most services are carried out through hospitals, local health centers, and specialist centers.
The benefits of the Spanish public healthcare system include:
- Universal coverage
- No upfront costs for patients
- Discounted prescription payments
The problems that you may encounter in the Spanish public healthcare system include:
- Long lines
- Personnel shortages
- Having to wait months to see a specialist or have a non-urgent surgery
- Reduced services in some areas, such as rural areas or islands.
Who has access to public healthcare in Spain?
Anybody living and working in Spain has access to public health care. As a resident who pays social security payments, you will be eligible for free state healthcare as an expat (through either employment or self-employment).
There are other situations in which foreigners can have access to the free public healthcare system, but these should be consulted with an immigration attorney or specialist to make sure that you fall into one of those categories.
After registering with the Spanish Social Security, you will be able to apply for a health card (Tarjeta Sanitaria). You will be asked for the tarjeta when seeking medical care at hospitals and health centers. This card proves that you are registered in the system and also gives you access to certain discounts on medicine and prescriptions.
Do US citizens need private health insurance in Spain?
If you fall into one of the categories above, then you can access the free Spanish public healthcare system. If you do not fall into one of the categories, you need to consider the length of your stay in Spain. Depending on the amount of time you are going to spend in the country, this will influence whether or not you require private insurance in Spain.
If you are going to spend 3 months in the country, then you will not need long-term healthcare coverage, however, it is recommended that you purchase travel insurance in case of any unforeseen emergencies. The length of your stay is very important, as not having insurance could be one of the reasons Spain denies your visa or entry into the country.
What are the options for private healthcare in Spain for US Citizens?
If you are not qualified for state-provided health care, you will need to purchase private health insurance coverage. This will prevent you from paying high medical bills if you do need to seek treatment.
If you have registered as a resident as your local town hall for a year, in some regions the government has a state insurance scheme (convenio especial), which some American expats may be eligible for a monthly fee. However, this may be limited by age or other conditions.
Alternatively, you can purchase private medical insurance in Spain, or with an international plan or one from your home country that provides treatment abroad. The best option is to find a good local health insurance provider in Spain, such as Caser Expat Insurance.
What are typical health coverages for U.S. citizens in Spain?
No matter what type of health insurance you’re looking for, Caser Expat Insurance has the option to fit your needs:
- Health insurance for getting a NIE or visa: You may need a visa to be able to come to Spain, and once in Spain, you will have to apply for a NIE (an identification number for all foreigners). Many times, requirements for a visa or NIE include health insurance with certain coverages and no copayments. Caser’s Adapta health and dental insurance is a best-seller for getting a NIE.
- Health insurance with no copayments: As stated above, some processes or documentation may require a health insurance with no copayments. Or maybe you just wish to avoid having to pay unknown copays for your healthcare services. Caser’s Prestigio no copay health insurance has got you covered!
- Health insurance for all the members of your family: If you’re bringing your family with you to Spain, you’ll want to make sure that you all have coverage for your health. No family member should get left behind! Caser’s Integral family health insurance is just what you’re looking for in this case.
And despite what you may think, private health insurance in Spain will not break the bank. Discover the average costs.
Now that you know what you need to know about healthcare in Spain for U.S. citizens, it’s time to consider your own situation: do you fall under the category of having access to free state healthcare or do you need to find private insurance? If you need help finding private healthcare in Spain, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Caser Expat Insurance.