Sanitas?

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phil_euro
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Sanitas?

Postby phil_euro » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:57 pm

Sanitas seems to be a popular choice for private health care down here on the Costa del Sol... but what are people's experiences with them?

I've just signed up and it has been anything put good! They claim to offer services in English, but, whenever I phone - after navigating the Spanish-only phone menu system - I get to a Spanish operator who passes me over to the English department... but they never answer. I only ever get through to voice mail that tells me to call back between 8:30 and 3. Even when I DO call between 8:30 and 3!

They sent me a list of doctors and clinics - with their languages spoken.... I phone the only one listed even remotely close to me that said English next to it and they said no doctors (or anyone) spoke English there.

Their 'members only' area is Spanish only (and you can't book doctors online in Cadiz or Malaga province using it anyway).

If I wanted health care in Spanish I would just stick with the state system (which I also have) but I foolishly believed the repeated sales calls (in English!) that stated I could get top notch service in my native language.

Am I just having a run of bad luck or is this to be expected?

Looking for experiences or tips on how to get some good help (eg maybe I am calling the wrong numbers).

Thanks

lynn111
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby lynn111 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:39 am

I'm surprised to hear that you have had such a bad experience using Sanitas. My parents have medical insurance with them, and have had cause to use their services extensively as my Dad is battling cancer. I know that they have had excellent treatment using the USP hospital in Marbella, and the doctors there speak English. When they have to get permission for any treatment they tend to go down to the Sanitas office in person rather than phoning though.

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phil_euro
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby phil_euro » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:34 am

Thanks Lynn,

Unfortunately we don't have a Sanitas office nearby, but I will keep that in mind. I sent them emails over the weekend and haven't heard anything back yet about my 'complaints'... so, we'll see.
I hope it is just a hiccup as I would much prefer that their service worked as advertised.

Maybe it comes down to the fact I don't live on that stretch of coast, but further down towards Gibraltar.

Anyone else have issues?

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Mowser
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Mowser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:52 am

I don't think it matters too much who your medical provider is. I started off with Caser, then changed to Sanitas and am now with Prevision Medica.

If I need to see a doctor or specialist, I go to Clinica Rincon. Clinica Rincon gives the same service no matter which provider you have (comparing like for like).
Dave

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Mowser
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Mowser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:57 am

Sanitas had a few email addresses. The only one that got back to me the next day was

healthplan@sanitas.es

The info@sanitas.es was particularly unhelpful. The only time they responded was when I emailed to take out a policy in 2007.
Dave

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Campo Steve
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Campo Steve » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:03 pm

We have been with Sanitas for a few months and so far have no complaints. They offer an over-50 cardiac check which was done at Clinica Rincon. It was very comprehensive.

Fortunately we haven't had to have an emergency appointment so can't comment on that. Can't say either if it easy to get anyone that speaks English as the cardiac check didn't need prior approval. OH's mamogram and follow-up ultrasoun also didn't need approval. (All clear by the way).

Only difficulty with Clinica Rincon is the front desk people speak very little English but the doctors do speak it pretty well, at least the ones we have encountered do.
I've got an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one!

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phil_euro
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby phil_euro » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:18 pm

Sounds good! Where is this Clinica Rincon? Where is the info on this Over-50 Cardiac Check? That is exactly what I am looking for!

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Campo Steve
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Campo Steve » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:50 am

Clinica Rincon is a chain of medical centres. Our nearest is Torre del Mar. There are also clinics at Fuengirola, Malaga and other places. Info at http://www.clinicarincon.com/secc_home/index.php?local=eng

Our actual insurance is with Sanitas. Clinica Rincon is just one of the many surgeries that contract with Sanitas to provide health care. There are several doctors registered with Sanitas in Torre del Mar and Velez Malaga, Clinica Rincon being just one of them. They provide most of the services you might need on a day to day basis, incudng their own xray equipment. The Spanish seem to like them as there are always plenty of them there.

The over-50 cardiac check is provided by Sanitas as part of the policy, although it was actually done at Clinica Rincon. I'm not really sure that Clinica Rincon knew what we were talking about when we went in and asked for it, but we got a comprehensive check anyway, including chest xrays and full blood test. The only charge was €12 by Sanitas for each appointment (the appointments made directly with Clinica Rincon), as it would have been for any doctors appointment (Sanitas charge that on top of the annual permium and take it by direct debit a month later). The check consisted of an initial consultation with the doctor. He then ordered blood tests and the xrays. You take the xrays away with you and collect the blood test results a week or so later. You then have another consultation where the doctor goes over the xray and blood results with you. So that was two consultations, €12 each.

Actually, we didn't realise the Sanitas policy included the cardiac check. We had thought we would get a general medical checkup when we took out the policy but it turned out that we didn't. It wasn't until my OH read through the Sanitas handbook that she found it was included.
I've got an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one!

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Mowser
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Mowser » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:39 am

The €12 per visit was what put us off Sanitas. I had a load of tests a few years ago. All in all there were seven tests and feed-backs. After three months €84 was taken from our account by Sanitas - as stated in their handbook. With Prevision Medica it would have been €11.40.

With Prevision Medica, instead of the plastic card, you are issued with vouchers worth €1.60 each. You hand this over for each visit. You can buy more vouchers at various outlets in Spain. Prevision Medica has a list of places where you can buy them. Knights insurance (Nerja) is my nearest one.
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Campo Steve
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Campo Steve » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:55 am

I guess it is down to individual experience. Some will have the best experience with one company, some with another. We looked at both Provision Medica and Sanitas. What put us off Provision Medica was that their agent, although initially gave us a quote, subsequently never replied to questions we had, until just the other week when she emailed, asking if we still wanted the policy. Unfortunately she was 6 months too late.

Either way, they both have contracts with Clinica Rincon.
I've got an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one!

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Mowser
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Mowser » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:58 am

When I took out the policy with Prevision Medica, they were celebrating 10 years of advertising on the internet. In 2007 they quoted me €80 a year - full cover for the two of us - with a guarantee it would only rise annually in line with normal inflation. We are currently charged €88 per month.

During the world cup, Sanitas were offering to cover two people for the price of one. I think that deal may be finished.
Dave

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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Colinm » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:30 pm

Mowser wrote: In 2007 they quoted me €80 a year - full cover for the two of us - with a guarantee it would only rise annually in line with normal inflation. We are currently charged €88 per month.


Jayzus, that's inflation for you!! :crazy:
ádh mór ort agus sláinte.....
(Good luck and good health)!

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Mowser
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Mowser » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:34 pm

Oops! Obviously I meant €80 per month.

:oops:
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Free at Last » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:26 pm

We have the same deal as Mowser with Prevision Medica, currently paying 88€ per month for the two of us. Last year I had a full gynaelogical checkup at Clinica Rincon, including mammogram, ultrasound, blood test and bone density scan, and didn't have to pay anything at all in addition to our monthly premium. In fact I have never been asked to pay any additional charges to see a doctor,we just sign one of our vouchers and hand it over and that's that. Apart from routine visits I always do contact Prevision Medica to obtain authorisation, and I have always found them very quick to respond to enquiries. I was given the direct line number of an English speaking member of staff (and she does speak it perfectly) who is extremely helpful both over the phone and by email.

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Re: Sanitas?

Postby El Cid » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:33 pm

We are very happy with Prevision Medica but the price you pay for the low premiums is reduced cover for certain things like Intensive care and any drugs involved.

Also there are low limits(€2000) for any bits they have to leave inside you like heart valves or stents ( a single stent is €2900).

I would be very concerned about the potential cost of major heart surgery for example.

Sid

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Re: Sanitas?

Postby Bongtrees » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:16 pm

phil_euro wrote:Sanitas seems to be a popular choice for private health care down here on the Costa del Sol... but what are people's experiences with them?



I have been with Sanitas for many years and it has its own very Spanish way of operating which is going to the office if unable to sort anything out. Email and phone calls were never answered.

I gave up trying to find an English speaking specialist from their directory and chose the one nearest to both the Sanitas hospital and admin offices even tho was an hour from where I live.

I have had 2 operations and umpteen scans tests xrays etc, all appointments were dealt with by the consultants secretaries, hardly anyone I came across spoke English but we managed OK. I think the levels of cover are high and have no complaints whatsoever.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

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phil_euro
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Re: Sanitas?

Postby phil_euro » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:38 pm

Thanks everybody for all the replies. I think I will stick with Sanitas for now (not living in Malaga province it seems I can't get Provision Medica anyway). I've given up on getting an English-speaking doctor around here... and incredibly - three days later - I did get an email back saying:

We very much regret having given you cause for complaint. If you need to contact our English Customer Service you can dial 902 400 232, from 8:00 to 15:00 (summer opening times).

We are sorry for all the inconveniences you have trying to find an speaking English doctor. Regarding the English speaking network in your area, we are afraid there are not many options we can offer you. Non Spanish population in La Línea is growing very fast although medical provision for the expats is not as developed as we would like. However, we are working very hard to provide you with the highest possible medical care available.


Now, even after all these years I find it amazing to think that the medical profession takes summer hours (my health doesn't seem to notice the time of year!), but, there you go.

Also - it is interesting to note that the phone number above does NOT appear on their website. Go figure. I hope it can be of use to others.

Thanks again everyone!


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