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Expat Exchange - Health Insurance in Spain
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Peniscola, Spain


Health Insurance in Spain

By Betsy Burlingame

Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

Summary: Making the move to Spain? One critical choice you'll face is between local health insurance and expat health insurance. Our article provides a comprehensive comparison of both, enriched with insights from expats in Spain on their personal insurance decisions.

Spain's healthcare system is renowned for its high quality and accessibility. Expats and digital nomads considering a move to Spain will find a well-established health insurance landscape, with options ranging from public healthcare to private insurance companies, ensuring that everyone can find a plan that suits their needs and budget.

Health Insurance Companies in Spain

Spain boasts a variety of popular health insurance companies that cater to both locals and expats. Some of the most well-known insurers include Sanitas, ASISA, and DKV Seguros. These companies offer a range of plans, from basic coverage to comprehensive packages. Expats are eligible to purchase health insurance from these companies, which can provide more immediate access to specialists and private hospitals, often with the benefit of shorter waiting times compared to the public system.

Expat Health Insurance in Spain

Many expats living in Spain opt for specialized expat health insurance plans. These plans are tailored to the unique needs of expats, offering coverage that may not be provided by local insurers, such as medical repatriation or international coverage for those who travel frequently. Specialized expat health insurance can provide peace of mind for those who are navigating a new healthcare system in a foreign country.

Local Health Insurance vs. Expat Health Insurance

When it comes to choosing between local health insurance and specialized expat health insurance, expats and digital nomads often weigh the benefits of each. Local insurance companies can offer plans that are well-suited to the Spanish healthcare system, while expat insurance might provide broader international coverage. The decision often depends on the individual's health needs, length of stay in Spain, and whether they travel often or require coverage in multiple countries.

Considerations for Health Insurance Abroad

When deciding on health insurance while living overseas, it's important to consider how claims are handled. Some insurers operate on a direct billing system, where they pay the hospital or clinic directly. Others may require you to pay upfront and submit claims for reimbursement. The ease of communication with the insurer, the extent of the network of doctors and hospitals, and the coverage limits are also crucial factors to consider. Understanding the terms of coverage and the claims process can help ensure that you select a health insurance plan that aligns with your needs and lifestyle abroad.

Expats talk about Health Insurance in Spain

"My policy costs 1017 Euros or about $1109 annually. It can also be paid monthly through a bank deduction. There is no co-pay, which is the requirement for the Spanish visa, so most treatment is included, but not prescriptions or outside consultation," commented one expat living in Altea, Spain.

"We have a private health insurance with Sanitas and are happy with them. It’s acceptable at our nearest hospital. Sanitas was most well known health insurance among expats. They will take payments without a Spanish bank account, which we find very convenient because we didn’t have a Spanish bank account last year before we moved to Spain," mentioned one expat living in Spain.

"I have a private insurance with Sanitas and it costs 80€ per month for a full coverage. I have to see doctors in Sanitas network. I had used the emergency service at the hospital and received excellent care. I also saw a general doctor, and OB/GYN and received excellent care. I’m very happy with the plan with Sanitas," said an expat in Spain.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

Peniscola, Spain

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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