Medical & Expat Health Insurance Spain! Let’s talk Private Health Insurance in Spain for US Citizens and other nationalities who are thinking of applying for the non lucrative visa Spain or the retirement visa Spain have been asking about the private health insurance Spain.
The popular questions are related to costs, as well as the medical insurance in Spain requirements for the non lucrative visa. If you are looking for practical information on health insurance in Spain, this is the perfect place for you to start! It has been a hot topic for us lately and keeping our email inbox buzzing away.
We’ve also received a few questions from expats already living in Spain as well. After responding to several of the emails, I thought it would just be easier to write up a quick post and let you know all that we know about health insurance for Americans living in Spain. This may apply to other countries as well, but you will need to check.
Updates made as of January 2021 for Expat Health Insurance
Private Health Insurance Spain
Medical Insurance in Spain is one of our most popular posts! We have updated the information below. It seems many of our clients are now informing us that their consulate is requesting medical insurance with no co-pay and no deductible.
This is currently only the guide at a few of the consulates, so please check with the one aligned to you. See our recommendations below.
Private health insurance in Spain costs
I know it is a huge mental leap for an American to think of the cost of Medical Insurance for Spain or Health Insurance, as something you can afford out-of-pocket.
Well, let me just tell you from personal experience, we found health insurance for American expats living in Spain to be very “affordable”.
Of course affordable is a matter of opinion so I will share with you the actual cost of our private medical insurance for our Spanish resident visa, as well as other quotes we have received.
You can be the judge and also ask for your own quotes.
Please do keep in mind this is just something for you to get a feel for the costs, as for each person/family it will vary due to your ages, location, duration of policy and coverage selected.
Medical Insurance Spain
For Non Lucrative Visa Application or other resident visa applications in Spain
(US Citizens or non-EU Citizens)
REQUIREMENT – You need private Spanish Medical Insurance Coverage!
This is true you do need health insurance for the non-lucrative visa in Spain, as well as for the retirement visa in Spain. It is likely required for other Spain resident visas as well, like the student visa. It is possible to purchase the non-lucrative visa health insurance in Spain in advance, and we provide you the info we have available.
*** Keep in mind we are not insurance agents and can’t compare every option or answer questions. We just list those which we know, our clients or readers have used and recommended for us to add, or the expat health insurance we have had experience with. We are not responsible for any quotes, service or coverage you receive. These are just data points for you to do your research.
Let me start back when we were applying for our non-lucrative visa for Spain (late 2011/early 2012).
When we applied in 2012 the requirement of insurance for a Spain visa read:
Info. Proof of medical insurance coverage while in Spain. We do not accept insurance cards. We need a letter from your insurance stating that you will be covered while travelling to Spain. Travel medical insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros or its equivalent in US dollars. This should include repatriation (returning a person back to the country of origin).
As of May 2014, it read:
Proof of having international medical insurance while in Spain, with a certified translation into Spanish.
Do keep in mind the requirements for the non-lucrative visa often change and can vary between the 12 Spanish Consulates within the United States. Please do verify your exact requirements with the consulate aligned to your location and determine what is required for your Medical Insurance in Spain. Sometimes each consulate has slightly different rules.
Time to show you our Research on private medical insurance
Let the research begin. When still living in the US, we researched many options and found it to be overwhelming. Many US insurance companies wouldn’t insure us outside of the United States for an extended period of time. Others wanted a thorough head-to-toe examination and proof that we were over the top healthy.
We received many online quotes from your standard US Insurance companies (Cigna, Aetna, IMG, United, etc.) and many quoted $5000 – $12,000 per year for our family of 4. What?! I thought that was crazy and continued to do research. They will tell you that you are covered in Spain, but beware!
What is the difference between Medical Insurance and Travel Insurance?
Depending on the company and policy selected, Travel Insurance typically covers emergency medical procedures. In addition, they often cover the policyholder for insurable events that may occur before or during travel, such as trip cancellation/interruption, medical expenses for injury or illness, theft of valuables, baggage delay or damage, and more.
Many of these companies do not cover you in your home country at all or within a certain radius from your home city.
Depending on the company and policy selected, Health or Medical Insurance usually covers your medical needs preventative as well as injury or illness. Of course, there are wide ranges of coverage available within this area, with a variety of deductible amounts. It was difficult to find coverage for Spain as well as the US.
At the time, we decided to opt for high-end Travel insurance from Worldnomads.com for our coverage. We weren’t sure if it would be accepted for the application, but it did meet all of the coverage requirements and repatriation too.
In the end, our visa was approved with this coverage in the Summer of 2012.
As of June 2017, many consulates will no longer accept travel insurance for the visa application.
Updated: As of July 2019 (no co-pay policies)
It seems some of the Spanish Consulates now have a requirement regarding health insurance with state you can not have a co-pay or deductable. This is new and will raise the price of your insurance, compared to the rates we currently have.
In hindsight, which Medical Coverage would we have chosen when we first moved to Spain?
Oh if only I knew then what I know now!
How many times has that phrase come to haunt us?
After living in Spain for 1 year, it was time for us to apply for our Spanish resident card renewal. As part of this process, we needed to again show proof of finances as well as Medical Coverage.
We started to do more research on Spanish Health Insurance for expats and found it to be much more affordable than the US options. We decided not to renew our Travel Insurance and instead purchase Spanish Medical Insurance from one of the local Spanish Insurance companies.
Do your research about health insurance in Spain!
Again we reached out to several and received quotes for our family of 4. To receive a quote for coverage, all they needed was our birth dates and passport numbers (or NIE number). Of course, you still have the varieties of coverage from your basic coverage to the mac daddy full hospitalization as well as various deductibles, in a network, out of network, etc.
We received price quotes for our family of 4 ranging from €45 – €220 per month ($62 – $300, depending on the exchange rate). If you opt for a quarterly, bi-annual, or yearly contract, you may also receive discounts.
I think the Annual contract for full coverage with dental, travel, and hospitalization was about €2200 per year (~$3025). This is a far cry from the prices quoted to us by many of the US companies, and we didn’t need to go to the ends of the earth to prove we were in good health.
What did we choose for our health insurance plan in Spain?
In 2012 we moved over with only the high-end Travel insurance from Worldnomads.com
As of 2013, we moved to Mapfre –
In the end, we selected the basic preventative coverage with Mapfre, which included travel and dental. It also covered us for emergency medical around the world, including the US. In hindsight, I think this was the right option for us at the time. Our needs continue to change, so we will again go through an evaluation of our coverage as needed.
Perhaps next time, we may prefer a full-coverage plan offered with Sanitas Expats (including hospitalization). I really liked the online service with Sanitas and they have all of their documents in English as well as Spanish.
They do cater more to foreigners, but their prices show that. When they sent us a quote they offered one that was geared more towards expats and had regular coverage in the US as well. They partner with United Health in the US, so that way we wouldn’t need to worry if we return to the US for a trip.
In 2015 we did more research and opted for DKV Seguros (They do require a Spanish bank account and address). We have full medical, hospitalization, and dental coverage for our family of 4. This is including 90 days of travel insurance outside of Spain.
It is a network provider system, so we have a low copay within the network. There are several different levels of coverage you may choose from. The price for our family of 4 is €347 a quarter (in 2016). This coverage would not be sufficient for the current applicants for the nonlucrative visa because we have a copay. As of 2019, you need to have no copay.
How much is health insurance in Spain?
For us, as of July 2020, we still have DKV. It is now €385 a quarter, so it has gone up about €13 each year. We do have a co-pay) and rarely use it. I am autonomous (self-employed) now and we have access to the free national health system. The DKV insurance is something we keep because it is low cost and just in case we are no longer self-employed.
With the current exchange rate of $1.14 to €1, it comes out to $395 per quarter or about $1600 for the entire year. We get all preventative medical and dental (cleaning etc) included once a year free as part of the plan.
There is also a smartphone app for providers within the network and much more. We have been very happy with this option and the price is better than our basic travel insurance.
The Spanish Insurance companies we have received quotes from are listed below. These are also the companies our clients have recommended and use as well. They all have online tools available for you to receive a quote. Each offers a variety of coverage for healthcare in Spain.
Live a Healthy Life!
Companies with Medical Insurance in Spain for Expats
(US Citizens applying for non lucrative visa in Spain)
Here are some companies that we researched and found to meet the non-lucrative visa requirements needs. This also includes our own insurance or our clients’ recommendations.
Expat Health Insurance Requirements for Spain
Be sure to mention you are looking for health insurance for Spanish Residency when you obtain your quotes. They will know what the current requirements are.
- No Copay
- No Deductibles
- No Waiting periods
Health Insurance Companies for Spanish Residency
Please find a list of companies below that we have used, or our friends, readers, or clients have recommended.
Medical Insurance for 0 – 84+ years old!
This is the most popular private insurance in Spain and they offer special expat packages as well. You really can’t go wrong with their coverage throughout Spain, as ,it is the biggest network.
They also offer car, home, pet, and other insurance policies so you get discounts with bundles. When we met with the agent they assured us you can choose from several plans.
They even have something specific for customers from 70-84 years old! In some cases, they may also request permission to obtain insurance for those more than 84 years old as well.
- Plena Plus – Full Health Insurance
- Completa – Full health insurance with repatriation, which is necessary for the visa to live in Spain
- Senior Health insurance specific to customers from 70 to 84. Also, more than 84 years old, with special permission.
Please contact Lorena or Patricia (they speak English) and can provide you with an estimate.
Contact: Lorena or Patricia Segurcaixa Adeslas for more information. (Let them know Heidi sent you)
Updated: As of September 2020 – We are receiving feedback on good customer service and prices, happy customers!
Sanitas for Expats – click here for a quote
This is specifically for expats and will certainly meet the visa requirement needs. If you are from 65-74, this may be your best option. Hundreds of our clients have opted for this Spanish health insurance to meet their visa requirements. We keep in touch and most have continued to stay with them over the years. Their age limit is a bit higher than the others. Good communication skills.
The office speaks English and caters to the expat community. We have a comparison chart of their various plans.
They have several plan options with various levels of coverages, copays, and deductibles. By clicking on this link you will be able to make an inquiry. The team will help you determine the best insurance package to meet your needs.
Some American friends of ours in Spain were specifically seeking out Maternity coverage. It appears that Sanitas offers good coverage as well. Some friends of ours (US Citizens) in town also use Sanitas.
Much of their site is in English and they offer a live chat. It is great for asking all types of questions. We received a “same day” quote for coverage, plus they sent us a detailed list of alternative options.
Great customer service. They like it best if you have a Spanish bank account for the payment. If you don’t have one, they will likely ask for payment of a full year in advance.
INSBROK Insurance – Click here to request a quote
With over 35 years of experience, Insbrok can help you with your insurance needs. They are dedicated to helping English-speaking clients wishing to reside in Spain. They offer private health insurance, home insurance, pet insurance, and more.
The Valencia-based team handles policies with many different companies. Offering health insurance in Spain as well as other insurance, so getting a quote from them saves you time from contacting several different companies yourself. They will find you the right network, for the right price, with appropriate coverage for the residency visa! Most insurance companies in Spain would exclude pre-existing conditions. Insbrok is able to offer a solution that covers a large number of these.
So do you have questions? You may read more about the FAQ’s here. You will find answers to those popular questions. (Waiting periods, deductibles, payments, pre-existing condition, repatriation, buying before you arrive, and more).
Some INSBROK Partners:
Our plan is the DKV Integral Completa, through our local Zurich Agent in Almunecar. Locally for us, it seems to be the same network of doctors available in the Sanitas plans. They have several plan options with various levels of coverage, copay amounts, and deductibles. Do your homework.
Mapfre – Click here to request a quote
This is what we had for our first 2 years. It was very affordable, but we didn’t use it for anything, so can’t inform you of the claims process or anything. It is offered through Insbrok. INSBROK Insurance – Click here to request a quote
A word of caution if you intend to use any of the US-based health insurance companies; (Cigna, United Health, and so on) please read the fine print and be sure they have coverage in Spain. Ask someone and then ask a second person, just to be sure it will be widely accepted in Spain. Many of them will not suffice for the visa approval and you will likely have difficulties once in Spain.
We do know of several families who purchased the expensive US coverage and then once in Spain realized, they weren’t easily covered. No one knew what the company was and there wasn’t a wide network that would accept it for coverage. They ended up canceling and switching to a Spanish company and buying Spanish health insurance.
Please do your own research and let us know if you find any other Spain healthcare insurance companies you would recommend. Just contact us, so we can add them to the list, or just enter the information in the comments below. We want to be sure that you have enough information to make a decision based on your needs for your expat insurance.
It has been said there is a program to join the Spain healthcare system after living in Spain for 1 year. We do not have experience with this and cannot advise on using the Spanish healthcare system.
Do you have a pre-existing condition?
We are not experts in this area, as we didn’t have any pre-existing conditions. Don’t completely give up hope. We have heard from some clients and some Spanish health insurance companies, that coverage will vary for a pre-existing condition. You may be able to receive coverage, depending on the condition.
In addition, we have heard there are carriers who will allow a policy, excluding the condition (meaning you are completely covered except for your condition). Others will not cover you at all.
It depends on the insurance carrier and the flexibility of obtaining travel insurance instead will vary based on which consulate you go to in the US (your aligned consulate is your only choice).
Best of luck with your Spain private health insurance hunt!
Helpful Health Insurance Spain Vocabulary
- Doctor in Spanish – Medico
- I need an appointment – Necesito una cita
- I have an appointment – Tengo una cita
- Private – Privado
- Insurance in Spanish – Seguro
- Pain – Dolor
- I hurt or I have pain – Me duele
- Health or healthy in Spanish – Salud
- Blood – Sangre
- Medical Insurance Spain – Seguros de salud España
With the non lucrative visa, you are required to show proof of Spanish health insurance each time you renew. After the first year, you may renew 2 times for 2 years each. That will give you a total of 5 years in Spain.
After that 5 year mark, you apply for the long duration residency. With that residency, you are automatically allowed to work in Spain and if you work and pay into social security, etc, you will be able to join the Spanish healthcare system.
Other information we have provided regarding “How to Apply for Non Lucrative Visa for Spain as US Citizen or Canadian Citizen” are listed below.
- Doesn’t a US citizen need a visa to live in Spain?
(Spanish Resident Visa)
- Where oh where is that Spanish non-lucrative resident visa?
- 10 Tips for Spanish Resident Visa Application –
for the US Citizen or American Traveler
- Tips For Getting Settled In Spain – Resident Card, Bank, School, Phone
- Spanish Resident Card Renewal Process – What is going on?
- Legality in Spain
More help for your move to Spain
Of course, Alan has written a very thorough e-book, Live in Spain, which walks you, step by step, through the entire process of the non lucrative visa requirements and the Spain retirement visa requirements.
It is full of tips and tools to help you and a matrix with spells out the special things for each Spanish consulate in the USA. It also provides you with a checklist to make sure all of the organization and timing of documents in on target.
We have helped hundreds of families, couples and singles successfully move to Spain! Updated: As of September 2019
We also have a book to help you prepare for your move and getting settled once you arrive! Getting Settled In Spain
Updated: As of September 2020
Some other articles that may be of help to you.
- How to move to Spain
- What was the Cost To Live In Spain For 1 Year?
- How to estimate the cost of living.
- Preparing For Your Move Abroad
WAGONERS ABROAD SPAIN PUBLICATIONS
We have collected most of the info we have, all in one spot. Our 10 tips for resident visa application, cost of living, getting ready to move, arriving, are documented for you. We will help you plan and execute your Move to Spain, feel free to check out our consulting services.
I would advise you have a read through our documents first, as many of the frequently asked questions have already been answered. Just click on the image below.
Move to Spain Consulting
If you want a quick answer or someone to speak with, we also offer consulting. Check out our Spain non lucrative visa consulting page now, for our latest offers!
Move to Spain Relocation Packages
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Traveling with medication
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