Expat Health Insurance in Spain
Spain is a great destination for expats looking for great weather and new adventures. But for many people, healthcare can be an issue.
An alternative to both comprehensive Private Insurance and the (public) Spanish Healthcare system is Expat health insurance. This post covers that.
Spain’s public healthcare system (the SNS) offers universal coverage, but eligibility is often tied to your employment status and income. Expats not meeting certain criteria may find themselves without access to public health services.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the SNS will not cover all medical costs, and so even those who are eligible may choose to supplement their public insurance coverage with a private health insurance plan to bridge the gap.
While the majority of people in Spain contribute to the Spanish Social Security System, and are therefore eligible for public health insurance, certain profiles may be exempt:
- Certain students from non-EU countries
- Digital nomads or freelancers residing in Spain for a limited time
- Foreign non-working individuals and retirees*
- Foreign au pairs
*Note that many retirees and expats coming to Spain do so on the Spanish non-lucrative Visa or the Golden Visa where private insurance coverage is required. After a year of residency in Spain, they have the option to switch to the public system under the Convenio Especial scheme.
Expats in Spain can consider various health insurance options to bridge the gap left by public health insurance ineligibility, including expat health insurance and full private insurance.
For those expats who are looking to strike a balance between affordable monthly costs and good quality coverage, an Expat Health Insurance like Feather’s might be the way to go.
While private insurance offers comprehensive coverage at higher premiums, expat health insurance – technically also a type of private health insurance – offers some of the perks of full private insurance, but with lower monthly costs and a lighter level of coverage. This makes it a great option for those newly arriving in Spain, or staying for just a few years.
Expat Health Insurance is an insurance policy that is suitable for foreigners relocating to Spain, or those simply passing through for a few months or years. Typically, it’s a great fit for students, digital nomads, freelancers and retirees.
While private insurance offers exhaustive medical coverage, Expat Health Insurance covers you for what you typically might need, such as doctors visits when you are sick, medication, medical emergencies, ambulance transport and so on. However, pre-existing conditions, mental health therapy and preventative check-ups are not included. This makes Expat Health Insurance a good choice for those who are relatively healthy at the time of sign up. However, it’s always important to consider your personal situation – if you have reason to be concerned about these factors, you may wish to consider a comprehensive private health insurance plan.
Expat Health policy holders also enjoy access to both public or private clinics and hospitals. In the case of Feather’s Expat Health Insurance policy, policy holders are not required to choose from practices within a specific network, but are free to visit any practitioner of their choice.
Accidents and emergencies: Unexpected medical treatments and procedures, and the associated follow-up costs.
Medication: In the case of illness, medication prescribed by a doctor is covered.
Ambulance transport: If you require transportation by an ambulance to hospital, the costs are covered.
Repatriation: In certain cases, your insurance covers your return to your home country for treatment or return of your body home for burial.
Dental treatment: Pain relief treatments are covered up to €500 annually, and tooth replacement after an accident is also covered up to €500.
EU-wide coverage: With Expat health insurance, your coverage extends to all EU countries, in case you decide to travel outside of Spain.
Expat Health Insurance may not offer as extensive coverage as a full private health policy, however there are other factors that make it more attractive and suited to expats.
Feather’s Expat Health Insurance, which starts at 45 Euro per month, is backed by a 4.9* rating on Trustpilot. The policy and service offered is loved by expats because the registration, free consultations and support with claims, as well as policy documents, are offered in English and Spanish.
- Sign up takes just 2 minutes online and no health questions are asked upon sign up.
- The policy is fully flexible – policy holders can choose to pay monthly or annually, can start using their policy right away, and can cancel their policy anytime.
- There is full freedom to choose between public and private practitioners and clinics.
- The plan offers EU-wide coverage so you can travel freely without worrying about additional travel insurance.
- Generally more affordable than a comprehensive private insurance
- Recognised by Spanish immigration authorities and suitable for Digital nomad visa, Student & Au-pair visa, Investment visa, Non-lucrative visa, Tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE card) and its renewal
Important to note about Expat Health Insurance is that you can only keep the policy for up to 5 years – this is a part of the reason why the monthly payments are so affordable. After 5 years on the policy, you will need to move to another private or public insurance.
Expat health insurance offered by Feather is compliant with the health insurance requirements for a variety of Spanish visas.
- Digital nomad visa
- Student & Au-pair visa
- Investment visa
- Non-lucrative visa
- Tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE card) and its renewal
If Feather Expat Health Insurance sounds like a good choice for you, you can sign up online directly in just a few minutes. If you are unsure if it’s suitable for your personal circumstances, you can also book a free call with one of their insurance experts to discuss.