Peniscola, Spain
Peniscola, Spain
Peniscola, Spain

Guide to Healthcare in Spain

8 Expats Talk about Healthcare and Health Insurance in Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 15, 2020

Summary: Expats living in Spain talk about healthcare, proximity to hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care in Spain, availability of prescription medicines and more.

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Expats in Spain offer insight into the quality of healthcare in Spain, proximity to hospitals, cost of health insurance and more.

What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Spain?

We asked expat moms who gave birth in Spain about their experiences and advice they have for other moms to be. They said:

"To ask about the antenatal classes run by the midwife. They're not advertised and I just asked if there were any private ones, and it turned out that she ran classes," commented an expat living in Granada, Spain.

"If you think you are progressing faster than they do, speak up! Also don't be afraid to ask for anything you need," said another expat in Barcelona.

Expat Health Insurance in Spain

Expats interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

What are medical services in Spain like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Spain, they replied:

"Yes. When we were applying for our visa we purchased insurance with Sanitas Health. It costs 150 euros ($165) a month. We have only used our insurance to refill our American prescriptions," commented an expat living in Salamanca, Spain.

"Although the primary care from physicians and the local hospital/clinic are generally adequate, I recommend getting a second opinion before accepting a recommendation for major treatment like surgery, even though you will likely have to pay that out of pocket. Doctors, treatments, medications are dramatically less expensive here. Custom orthotics would have cost me approximately $300 in the US, but are $45 here. ," commented an expat living in Altea, Spain.

What do you think about the cost of medical care 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 an expat living in Altea, Spain.

"Buyer beware. The US insurance company I have is trying to find every reason to not pay for my surgery. They are trying to find an exclusion for everything. I will switch companies as soon as possible," said another expat in Madrid.

What are emergency services like?

When we asked about emergency services, members in Spain wrote:

"On my plan, there are two large private clinics/hospitals in Benidorm which is about a 45 minute bus ride or 20 minute car ride. I have heard and experienced both good treatment at these facilities, and also poor treatment, like a man I know who had surgery for a broken leg after being struck by a car. They botched it and he had to have multiple surgeries to correct it. I had to make multiple trips for assessment and feedback. ," commented an expat living in Altea, Spain.

"I live outside of Madrid. I found HM hospitals are excellent. They are very detail oriented and are an international hospital so communication is not a problem," said another expat in Madrid.

Are their specialists in the area or do you need to travel to see a specialist?

"I have not had serious health problems, but did seek out a podiatry specialist for alternative treatment for foot pain from Freiberg's. The IMED doctor told me I need to have part of the second and third bone in my foot cut out. The podiatrist (who has multiple locations in this area of the Costa Blanca) used laser and made me custom orthotics and gave me exercises which helped immensely," commented an expat living in Altea, Spain.

"HM has many specialists here. I am i a serious situation now and all the doctors are working as a team," said another expat in Madrid.

Are most prescription medications available in Spain?

"Most medications are available at pharmacies without a prescription. Bring old medication bottle or written info with name and dosage. They may have a different name. I always check via internet to make sure what I got is the correct medication and dosage. Certain prescriptions like antibiotics require a prescription. Most medications are extremely inexpensive. ," commented an expat living in Altea, Spain.

"All of my medicines are available here. Often much lower in cost than the US. I take Advair for my asthma. in the US my co-pay is $100 with Walgeens saying my insurance saved me $550.00.Here my over the counter price for the exact same medicine from Smith Glaxo Kline is $63. ," said another expat in Madrid.

"Very close up the new hospital under 1 kilo by walking. It's a private hospital," commented an expat living in Granada , Spain.

"I'm 0.5 kilometers from the hospital. It's a very good private hospital. The quality is very good. There are both public and private hospitals. I used the emergency service once and I'm very impressed at the speed and quality of care I received. It's much better than in the US," said another expat in Granada.

"Haven't used, but hear they are fine. Private insurance first year (about $80 per month with NO deductible), after that can get on state medical for free," remarked another expat in Granada.

Expats living in Spain interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue. Get a Quote

Expats living in Spain interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

International Citizens InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a comparison quotes for some of the biggest expat health insurers from our partner, International Citizens Insurance.
Get Quotes

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Peniscola, Spain
International Citizens InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a comparison quotes for some of the biggest expat health insurers from our partner, International Citizens Insurance.
Get Quotes

Healthcare in SpainHealthcare in Spain

Expats in Spain share their experiences with healthcare and overseas medical insurance in Spain.

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Expats living in Spain talk about their own experiences with healthcare, hospital visits, emergencies, finding a doctor, buying health insurance in Spain and more.

healthcare in AlteaHealthcare in Altea, Spain

An expat in Altea, Spain shares her experiences with expat health care and insurance. Topics covered include costs, medications, quality of health care, medical procedures abroad and more. -

healthcare in MadridHealthcare in Madrid, Spain

An expat in Madrid recommends HM hospitals, says that prescriptions are a fraction of the prices that they are in the US and has a warning about US health insurance policies for expats. -

healthcare surveyAnswer Questions about Healthcare in Spain

Help others moving to Spain by answering a set of questions about health insurance, public healthcare in Spain, prescription medicine, quality of medical care and emergency services.

Having-a-Baby-In-SpainExpats Talk about What it's Like Having a Baby in Spain

Read recent baby reports submitted for Granada and Barcelona.

If you're an expat parent who had a baby abroad, write a report about your childbirth experiences to help other expecting expat parents.

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