Like many European countries, Spain has a well-funded public healthcare system. The government funds the public healthcare system through taxation, and private healthcare insurance companies complement it. This blog explains how to can you arrange health insurance in Spain.
For those relocating to or living in Spain, it’s mandatory to obtain some kind of healthcare coverage.
Most visa applicants, including those seeking a Golden Visa, must pay for private healthcare insurance as part of the visa approval process, while any EU, EEA or Swiss citizen residing in Spain for longer than three months must register with social security, which in turn gives them access to public healthcare.
It’s the same for non-EU citizens who received their Residence and Work Permits from their relevant Consulate.
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand who public healthcare in Spain throughout the country’s many self-governing regions entitles.
Who can get public health insurance in Spain?
- Any registered worker.
- Social Security pensioners.
- People who receive state-funded benefits, like unemployment benefits or subsidies. This includes unemployed people who have exhausted their unemployment benefit while residing in Spain.
- Minors who are under guardianship.
The beneficiaries of the above entitlements include:
- A spouse or domestic partner.
- A former spouse with the right to a compensatory pension.
- Children including those under guardianship, legal foster care and siblings of the beneficiary. They must be younger than 26 years old or have a specific level of disability.
To qualify, the beneficiaries must meet the following:
- Live with the person who has access to public healthcare and be dependent on them. There are exceptions for separated and divorced spouses.
- Receive an annual income of less than €12,900.
Ex-Pats And Their Access to Health insurance in Spain?
Foreigners in Spain can also get healthcare, even if they are not legal residents in the country. They can directly visit the Health Service of the Autonomous Community where they reside to obtain care or treatment.
In fact, the law governing this specifically states that “foreigners have the right to healthcare under the terms provided for in current legislation on healthcare”.
This approach to healthcare ensures that anyone can enter a hospital if they have a health problem and is treated equally with Spaniards, whether are they legal residents or not.
Previously, this only applied to pregnant women, minors and adults seeking urgent care. Now the right to public health is separate from social security and this is an important change for those needing health insurance in Spain.
What about Ex-Pats in Spain who aren’t working?
If you are an ex-pat in Spain but cannot register for social security as a freelancer or worker, you can access public healthcare services via a special agreement. You can qualify after legally residing in Spain for at least one year and registering with your local Town Hall (known as the Empadronado – Alta en el Padrón Municipal).
You can apply for the special agreement by filing a form with the local authorities where you are registered. They have up to 30 days to approve the application for the special agreement or, if the deadline elapses without a decision, it’s automatically granted.
The final step is telling your local public authorities that you have formalized the special agreement. You have up to three months to do this.
The cost of public healthcare via the special agreement is €60 a month if you are younger than 65 years old or €157 a month if you are older. You make this payment monthly to your Autonomous Community.
Where can I find details bout my Autonomous Community and Social Security online?
Here is a selection that we at Lexidy LegalTech Boutique often work with.
Barcelona and the province
Valencia and the province:
Madrid and the province:
What if I need healthcare outside of my Autonomous Community?
If you temporarily move to another territory you can receive a basic portfolio of healthcare services.
How does Spain regulate healthcare for foreigners?
Ex-pats must prove residence if they have been in Spain for more than 90 days to prevent fraudulent access or abusive use of healthcare services. That way, ex-pats can receive treatment in their home country but this is difficult for undocumented immigrants.
Ex-pats are also subject to tougher laws for matters like organ transplants, which seeks to reduce health tourism. To qualify for this type of intervention, an ex-pat needs to have two years of living in the country.
Migrants living in Spain on a regular basis must meet the requirements of their autonomous community. Spain’s universal public healthcare system is only recognized within its borders. This is important to remember when planning health insurance in Spain
Our lawyers can help you understand your obligations when obtaining healthcare in Spain. We have long-standing partnerships with private healthcare insurance providers who share preferential rates with our clients. However, if universal public healthcare is your preferred option, we can guide you through the process of getting a special agreement to receive coverage. Contact us today!